U.S. EPA Denies Activist Petition and Retains all Chlorpyrifos Tolerances
03/29/2017 -In its release today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would not proceed forward at this time with any restrictions for chlorpyrifos or changes to U.S. tolerances, and that in doing so it was rejecting a petition from activist groups which had sought a ban on all food crop uses of the product. In making the announcement, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt indicated that “By reversing the previous Administration’s steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making – rather than predetermined results.” Instead, EPA indicated that it will focus its attention on updating and revising its human health assessment for chlorpyrifos under the standard procedures of the Registration Review process scheduled for completion by October of 2022 in order to support future decision making.
On October 30, 2015, EPA announced a proposal to revoke U.S. food tolerances for the insecticide chlorpyrifos. This proposal was an outcome of a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision ordering EPA to respond to allegations about chlorpyrifos in a 2007 petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA), even before the Agency had finished its formal health and safety evaluations of the product underway in Registration Review. On November 17, 2016, the EPA released a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) with accompanying assessments to notify the public of the data that the Agency may use to support its proposed decision to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances. Both of these releases by EPA offered the opportunity for public feedback, and many comments in support of retaining chlorpyrifos tolerances were submitted from farmers, farming groups, and industry stakeholders in the U.S. and other countries.
Dow AgroSciences supports the EPA’s decision to deny the petition to revoke U.S. food tolerances and cancel the registration of chlorpyrifos. Dow AgroSciences remains confident that authorized uses of chlorpyrifos products offer wide margins of protection for human health and safety. This is the right decision for farmers who, in about 100 countries, rely on the effectiveness of chlorpyrifos to protect more than 50 crops. Dow will continue to cooperate with EPA under the established regulatory process in its scientific review of this vital crop protection solution.