For those that do not know what Chlorpyrifos is, it might be worth looking into. The pesticide, an organophosphate that kills bugs by “interrupting the electrochemical process that nerves use to communicate with muscles and other nerves” (Pesticide Encyclopedia) doubles as an endocrine disrupter, meaning it can cause “adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects” (National Institutes of Health). It severely damages children’s brains. The EPA was making strides to ban it.
On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency, led by Scott Pruitt, will decide if the EPA will keep protecting kids from a brain-damaging chemical or pony up to the Dow AgroSciences, the makers of the pesticide.
In 2015, after a decade-long review, the EPA concluded that the using the pesticide was an unnecessary risk. They proposed a full ban, but meandered on finalizing the rule. Finally, in August 2016, a US Federal Appeals court ordered them to make a decision by March 31st, 2017, reprimanding the EPA’s “continued Failure to respond to the pressing health concerns presented by chlorpyrifos.”
Later on Wednesday, Pruitt signed an order denying the agency’s ban—they even removed the ban from the EPA’s website. In a written press release, Pruitt stated “We need to provide regulatory certainty to the thousands of American farms that rely on chlorpyrifos, while still protecting human health and the environment,” and that “By reversing the previous Administration’s steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making – rather than predetermined results.”