In a news release March 29 by EPA the EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed an order that denies a petition to revoke any tolerances for the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which would have cancelled all chlorpyrifos registrations. EPA Administrator 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. 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.”
Sheryl Kunickis, director of the Office of Pest Management Policy at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said “This is a welcome decision grounded in evidence and science. 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.”
For over a decade EPA has placed numerous restrictions on pesticide products containing chlorpyrifos to address health and environmental risks from chlorpyrifos exposure. Some of the restrictions eliminated all homeowner uses, except for use in ant and roach baits in child-resistant packaging and uses for fire ant mounds and as a termiticide (June 2000). Limitations and restrictions were placed on such uses as for apples, grapes, citrus and tree nuts and discontinued uses on tomatoes. In 2012, EPA lowered pesticide application rates for some uses and created “no-spray” buffer zones around certain public spaces. All previous restrictions and limitations are probably still in place.
This order means that EPA will not proceed at this time with any restriction for chlorpyrifos or changes to U.S. tolerances. “Instead, EPA announced that it will focus its attention on updating and revising its human health assessment for chlorpyrifos under the standard procedures of the Registration Review process scheduled for completion on October 1, 2022 in order to support future decision making,” said Phil Jost, Dow AgroSciences, U.S. Insecticides Marketing Leader.
Link to Press release by EPA: https://tinyurl.com/n63439v
Link to EPA order: https://tinyurl.com/mxtuuxx