Action Ended On
What was at Stake
Update, 7/28/21: This alert was originally published when a federal court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban chlorpyrifos. But as we’ve seen in the past, the pesticide industry is cozying up to EPA staff and aggressively lobbying them to adopt a Trump proposal that would not ban all food uses of chlorpyrifos. We need your help again to tell the EPA to ignore the lobbyists and follow through on the court order to ban chlorpyrifos.
This would be a catastrophic mistake and an utter betrayal of the public’s trust in the EPA. The amount of delay on this common-sense ban is already unacceptable, as the EPA and its scientific advisors have found repeatedly over the past 10 years that chlorpyrifos damages children’s neurological development at exposures far lower than what the EPA is currently allowing. Independent scientific studies show that the toxin is linked to motor delays, reduced IQ, harms to working memory, and autism — and Earthjustice has been suing the government for a decade to get it banned.
We need your help again. Tell the EPA to ignore the pesticide lobbyists that are trying to convince it to ignore the science (and a court order) and follow through with a ban on all food uses of chlorpyrifos.
For half a century, U.S. staple foods such as corn, wheat, apples and citrus have been sprayed with chlorpyrifos, a dangerous pesticide that can damage the developing brains of children, causing reduced IQ and attention deficit disorders. Now, after more than a decade of advocacy and a series of Earthjustice lawsuits, a federal court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to stop evading the law and ban all food uses of the neurotoxic pesticide, or prove that it is safe (something the EPA cannot do given the science). Join us in telling the EPA to finish the job and ban chlorpyrifos now.
This might sound familiar — this same court ordered the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos before. But the Trump administration never let the rule of law or public health get in the way of polluter profits, so it refused to take action and continued to allow chlorpyrifos to be sprayed on our food.
Now, with a new administration and a new court ruling, we have a chance to get the job done for good. Tell EPA Administrator Michael Regan to follow through to protect children and farmworkers and ban all food uses of chlorpyrifos now.
The fight doesn’t end with chlorpyrifos — it’s just one member of the organophosphate class of pesticides that were first developed by the Nazis for chemical warfare and are sprayed on our fruits and vegetables. The science is extremely clear on organophosphates: choosing to allow their use is choosing to harm children’s brains and poison the farmworkers who harvest the food everyone eats.
This decades-long fight is an indictment of the systems we have in place to protect public health. We’ve known chlorpyrifos and organophosphates are deeply harmful for years, but the federal government has been unable or unwilling to act, in large part because of the chemical lobby’s influence. We’ve let an industry that’s more than willing to poison farmworkers and agricultural communities set our public health priorities for too long — which is why it’s time for the Biden administration to be bold and fix this with a ban on organophosphates.
Chlorpyrifos and other organophosphates are in our bodies, water, air, and food, and it’s not going to get any better without decisive action from the federal government. Our government has a responsibility to protect us — but they’ve let us down for far too long. We must pressure the EPA to follow through with a ban on chlorpyrifos, and then begin the process to do the same for all organophosphates. Join us in telling Administrator Regan that the EPA’s time is now up to follow the law and ban chlorpyrifos now.