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Pesticide Action Network

Groups sue Trump’s EPA for refusing to ban brain-damaging pesticide

Chlorpyrifos is linked to learning and intellectual disabilities in children

For Immediate Release—Aug 7, 2019   

SEATTLE, WA— Today, health and labor organizations, including Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN), sued Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency for refusing to ban a widely used agricultural pesticide linked to damage to children’s brains and farmworker poisonings. 

Kristin Schafer, Pesticide Action Network Executive Director, issued the following statement:

“It’s absurd that we have to ask the court to force EPA to do its job. 

Scientists have known for years that chlorpyrifos puts the health of farmworkers and children in danger. Instead of acting on this evidence, EPA has chosen to ignore it — putting Dow Chemical’s profits before public health. This administration has made perfectly clear who they are working for, as again and again they put corporate interests ahead of the health of children, workers and the environment.

Thankfully, in the face of years of ongoing delay and failure by EPA, states are stepping up to protect communities from chlorpyrifos. This year’s cancellation of all uses of chlorpyrifos in California follows similar legislative action in Hawaiʻi and New York. Bills have also been introduced in Oregon, Maryland, Connecticut and New Jersey. A chlorpyrifos ban is long overdue, and we’re hopeful the courts will recognize this, too.”

In response to a court deadline, last month EPA said chlorpyrifos can still be used in the production of fruits and vegetables, even though studies show that  exposures to chlorpyrifos in infants and children  are associated with reduced IQ, attention disorders, and  autism. In its decision, EPA claims it can avoid taking action on chlorpyrifos until 2022, when it is supposed to finish a massive pesticide review. In the meantime, countless numbers of children are being exposed to a pesticide EPA scientists deemed unsafe in 2014, and again in 2016. 


Ahna Kruzic, PAN, (510) 927-5379,


Earthjustice filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Pesticide Action Network North America, Natural Resources Defense Council, United Farm Workers, Farmworker Association of Florida, Farmworker Justice, GreenLatinos, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, National Hispanic Medical Association, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos, Learning Disability Association of America, and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. 

Pesticide Action Network works to create a just, thriving food system. PAN works alongside those on the frontlines of pesticide exposure — from farmworkers to rural communities to beekeepers. PAN links local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens’ action network. Together, we challenge the global proliferation of pesticides, defend basic rights to health and environmental quality, and work to ensure the transition to a just and viable food system.


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Pesticide Action Network

Pesticide Action Network is dedicated to advancing alternatives to pesticides worldwide. Follow @pesticideaction

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