Ninth Circuit Orders Ban on Chlorpyrifos
In a 2-1 opinion this August, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals instructed US EPA to revoke all tolerances and cancel all registrations for chlorpyrifos , one of the most widely used conventional insecticides in the United States. If left in place, this ruling will effectively ban domestic use of the popular pesticide, though the Ninth Circuit may revise its injunction to allow continued non-food applications.
Developed in the 1960s, chlorpyrifos has become a fundamental part of pest management practices for numerous products, including beans, citrus, corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat, as well as serving an important role in mosquito control.
Since it is used on food crops, chlorpyrifos is subject to both registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and the setting of tolerances deemed safe by the Agency under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FFDCA). These tolerances represent the maximum level of pesticide residue allowed in or on raw agricultural commodities and processed foods. Without a tolerance, or exemption from a tolerance, food containing residues of the pesticide are considered ‘‘adulterated’’ under the FFDCA and cannot be distributed in interstate commerce.
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