Is the Clock Running Out on Crucial Pesticide?

Is the Clock Running Out on Crucial Pesticide?

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has given the Environmental Protection Agency 90 days to justify the use of chlorpyrifos.

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Last summer, a three-judge panel of the court ordered the EPA to ban all sales of the pesticide. The court decided to reconsider that ruling with a slate of 11 judges, and those judges last week gave the EPA three months to respond to the plaintiffs’ objections.

The organophosphate is used to control pests that threaten a variety of crops, including grapes, almonds, oranges, and a variety of vegetables.

Should chlorpyrifos be banned from use by growers?

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The court issued the order at the request of a coalition of farmworker and environmental groups. Attorneys general for several states, including California, Washington, New York and Massachusetts, joined the case, according to news reports.

The groups sued after then-EPA chief Scott Pruitt reversed an Obama-era effort to ban chlorpyrifos.