The largest manufacturer of a pesticide linked to brain damage in children has announced it would stop producing it, just as California was banning its sale. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration continues to defend the chemical.
Corteva Agriscience, a spinoff from the merger of Dow Chemical and Dupont, is the nation’s largest manufacturer of chlorpyrifos, a widely used agricultural pesticide which studies have linked to serious health problems involving prenatal exposure, children, and farmworkers. Corteva cited declining sales as the basis for its decision.
Of course, declining sales are easy to explain when a dangerous pesticide is getting banned for an increasing number of uses and in more jurisdictions. The Obama Administration banned its use nationwide during his last year in office, a decision supported by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analysis.
However, Trump’s first EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt reversed that decision, and the Trump Administration continues to defend the pesticide’s use. Environmental and public health advocates made clear that they would continue to push for restoration of the national ban, since some manufacturers are continuing to produce it.
“[W]e are still in the fight for a full ban, so that children and farm workers will no longer be exposed to it,” declared Marisa Ordonia, a senior associate attorney for Earthjustice, an environmental group that has sued in federal court seeking to force the U.S. government to ban chlorpyrifos.