Chris D'Angelo, Huffington Post, March 31, 2017
Defying the recommendation of his own agency’s scientists, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has refused to ban a widely used pesticide that’s been linked to learning disabilities in children.
Pruitt’s order, signed late Wednesday, allows chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate insecticide that’s been used on crops from broccoli to cranberries since the 1960s, to remain on the market for agricultural use. The EPA proposed in November 2015 under the Obama administration to permanently ban the chemical on food crops, citing potential risks to human health. The move stemmed from a 2007 petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Pesticide Action Network North America.
Critics on Thursday condemned Pruitt and President Donald Trump for showing they value corporate profits over public health. The move, less than two months after Pruitt was confirmed as the nation’s top environmental officer, signals far looser regulation of harmful substances under the Trump administration.
“If the new administration is willing to support corporate interests over public safety in the face of such strong scientific evidence, then we should expect clear sailing for many other questionable pesticides in the future,” Carey Gillam, a HuffPost contributor and research director for U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, told The Huffington Post in an email.
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