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EPA Reaches Settlement Regarding Controversial Pesticide

Earthjustice, working on behalf of the Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Environmental Working Group challenged EPA's authorization of the use of vinclozolin; a dangerous fungicide linked with serious birth defects and other health maladies. Patti Goldman, Managing Attorney for Earthjustice's Seattle office, filed a case in federal district court in 1997 challenging EPA's decision to authorize the use of vinclozolin without establishing a legal limit on the level allowed in food. Four days after the filing, EPA issued what it declared to be a safe level of vinclozolin in food. In 1997, the coalition filed objections to such uses because EPA failed to comply with the Food Quality Protection Act's mandate to protect children from harmful pesticides. EPA responded by increasing public health protections for children. Thereafter, the coalition filed another set of objections because EPA still authorized uses of vinclozolin that were dangerous to pregnant women. In 2000, EPA and the manufacturers of vinclozolin agreed to eliminate almost all food uses of the fungicide by 2004. In 2002, the coalition withdrew its objections on the phase out and EPA agreed to notify the groups and consider their comments prior to formally considering an emergency exception allowing uses of vinclozolin.

Read the objections to the use of Vinclozolin

Read the Settlement Agreement