Court says EPA ignored dangers of pesticide linked to brain damage in kids, orders ban

Credit: Wuzefe/Pixabay

Credit: Wuzefe/Pixabay

After reversing a 2015 Obama administration recommendation to extend a ban on the widely used pesticide chlorpyrifos, a Seattle appeals court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the use of it on crops such as fruits, vegetables and nuts, according to news reports.

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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision Thursday, overturned former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's decision to leave the pesticide on the market against the recommendations of EPA scientists, ruling that the agency offered "no defense" in delaying the ban, according to the HuffPost.

The court also said the agency offered no counter defense of "scientific evidence that its (the pesticide's) residue on food causes neurodevelopment damage in children," Reuters reported.

Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate insecticide, has been used on crops since the 1960s and has been linked to brain damage and developmental disabilities in children.

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New York was one of the states suing to reverse Pruitt's decision. New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood called the decision "a major court victory banning the Trump EPA from allowing the extremely toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos to be used on food."

Erik Olson, a senior director with the Natural Resources Defense Council, another plaintiff in the lawsuit, said the ruling is a "victory for parents everywhere," the HuffPost reported.

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“Some things are too sacred to play politics with – and our kids top that list,” Olson said in a statement. The court has made it clear that children’s health must come before powerful polluters.”

The court has given the EPA 60 days to enact the ban on chlorpyrifos.

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