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Agriculture Community Reacts to Recent EPA Action

04/05/2017
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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt recently signed an order denying a petition that sought to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide common to U.S. agriculture.  Administrator Pruitt explained that the decision provides “regulatory certainty to the thousands of American farms that rely on chlorpyrifos, while still protecting human health and the environment.”

USDA said the decision was based on science and will provide Americans with access to a full range of fruits and vegetables. “This is a welcome decision grounded in evidence and science…This frees American farmers from significant trade disruptions that could have been caused by an unnecessary, unilateral revocation of chlorpyrifos tolerances in the United States. It is also great news for consumers, who will continue to have access to a full range of both domestic and imported fruits and vegetables.” [Press Release, Office of Pest Management Policy at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 03/30/17]

American Farm Bureau noted their reliance on the pesticide in the production of citrus, vegetables, soybeans and many other crops. “Farmers nationwide depend on chlorpyrifos in managing their crops. It is widely and safely used for a wide range of crops, including alfalfa, citrus, vegetables, soybeans, almonds and others. It also protects hundreds of thousands of acres of grass seed production, where it controls aphids, cutworms and other pests. As USDA has noted, chlorpyrifos has been used as a part of environmentally friendly IPM (integrated pest management) programs for nearly 50 years.” [American Farm Bureau Federation, 03/30/17]

The California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association noted the lack of raw data supporting the need for a ban. “[Chlorpyrifos] is one of the most widely used pesticides across the world, California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association (CCGGA) and other representatives of the agricultural industry defended the product and grower practices relentlessly in an effort to keep the product available. The largest issues being the main argument in the petition was centered on a study that lacked availability of raw data, duplication or further review.” [Press Release, California Cotton Ginners & Growers Association, 03/30/17]

The Corn Growers Association applauded the EPA, because it’s safe for use by farmers and our farmers can’t be too reliant on a single tool to protect their crops. “Farmers need access to many crop protection tools to ensure all tools can remain effective.” [National Corn Growers Association, 03/30/17]

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture said this is a good decision for farmers. “We commend the EPA for its decision today that keeps an important insecticide available for farmers.” [Press Release, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, 03/30/17]

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