After years of back-and-forth about the safety of the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos, the US Environmental Protection Agency will no longer allow use of the neurotoxic pesticide on food crops, the agency says in a final rule released Aug. 18. The decision comes after an April 29 court ruling that directed the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos on food or set new residue levels that are safe for children.
The EPA’s decision is a win for environmental groups, which have been pressuring the agency to ban chlorpyrifos on food since 2007. The EPA proposed to do so in 2015 and 2016 under former president Barack Obama, citing neurodevelopmental health risks to children. But the agency faced significant pushback from the pesticide industry and reversed its decision in March 2017 under then-president Donald J. Trump. Environmental groups represented by the law group Earthjustice challenged the reversal, leading to the April court order this year.