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News from U.S. EPA: The New York Times on Chlorpyrifos

08/21/2017
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

Good Morning -

After a monumental mistake where the New York Times was caught peddling false information, they’re at it again.

Last night, the New York Times’ Eric Lipton and Roni Rabin reported on false facts about the EPA’s decision not to ban the pesticide Chlorpyrifos and the decision to continue the review regarding the pesticide. 

Specifically speaking, they left out that the EPA's decision was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which was not included in the story. Additionally, they took the drastic step of omitting words from the EPA’s one-sentence statement in response to their story that reminded Americans that the USDA had scientific concerns about the decision from Obama's EPA.  

Given that the New York Times never lets the truth get in the way of a good story, below is our official statement that was provided to them, along with some inconvenient facts that their story left out. 

“Taking emails out of context doesn’t change the fact that we continue to examine the science surrounding chlorpyifos, while taking into account USDA’s scientific concerns with methodology used by the previous administration.” - EPA spokesman, Amy Graham  

BACKGROUND …    

San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court rejects greens’ appeal of EPA decision not to ban pesticide. “A federal appeals court rejected a request from environmental groups to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision not to restrict the controversial pesticide chlorpyrifos.” (
The Hill, 07/18/17)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture supported Pruitt’s action. “‘This is a welcome decision grounded in evidence and science,’ said Sheryl Kunickis, director of the Office of Pest Management Policy at USDA. ‘It means that this important pest management tool will remain available to growers, helping to ensure an abundant and affordable food supply for this nation and the world. 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. We thank our colleagues at EPA for their hard work.’” (Food Safety News, 03/31/17)

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture also objected to Obama’s EPA methodology. “Similarly, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture also objected to EPA’s methodology. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) also expressed concerns with regard to EPA’s previous reliance on certain data the agency had used to support its proposal to ban the pesticide.” (Food Safety News, 03/31/17)

The Washington Post: New York Times guilty of large screw-up on climate-change story. “The New York Times on Wednesday appended a correction to a story about a climate change study: Correction: August 9, 2017 -- An article on Tuesday about a sweeping federal climate change report referred incorrectly to the availability of the report. While it was not widely publicized, the report was uploaded by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January; it was not first made public by The New York Times. That correction, which sits at the foot of the story, dutifully straightens out the record. Yet given the magnitude of the screw-up, it should sit atop the story, surrounded by red flashing lights and perhaps an audio track to instruct readers: Warning: This story once peddled a faulty and damaging premise.” (The Washington Post, 08/09/17)