US chlorpyrifos ruling signals Trump administration intentions

The US Environmental Protection Agency has rejected a petition by environmental groups that sought to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

In October 2015, the Obama administration proposed to revoke all food residue tolerances for chlorpyrifos, an active ingredient in insecticides. 

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said:

"We need to provide regulatory certainty to the thousands of American farms that rely on chlorpyrifos, while still protecting human health and the environment,"

Pruitt said in a statement. "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."

He argued that the "public record lays out serious scientific concerns and substantive process gaps in the proposal".

The US Natural Resources Defense Council said: "The Trump administration is putting the needs of chemical corporations before children’s health. Parents shouldn’t have to worry that a dangerous chemical might be lurking in the fruits and veggies they feed their kids. We will hold EPA accountable to protecting the American people from industries that can do us grave harm. The health of our children depends on it."
In the UK, from 1 April 2016 it became, and remains, illegal to spray any product containing chlorpyrifos on any crop. Sales from manufacturers to distributors were suspended from 12 February 2016.
Users in the UK had until 1 October 2016 to dispose of all stocks of any product containing chlorpyrifos via a suitable waste disposal/ management company. After 1 October 2016 it became illegal to store any product containing chlorpyrifos.

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