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Agricultural News


ASA, Coalition Comments for EPA's Chlorpyrifos Interim Decision

Fri, 12 Mar 2021 08:36:09 CST

ASA, Coalition Comments for EPA's Chlorpyrifos Interim Decision On March 6, ASA filed comments and led coalition efforts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s docket for the proposed interim decision (PID) for the registration review of chlorpyrifos.

Unfortunately, chlorpyrifos has become highly politicized due to a human epidemiological study conducted between 1998-2003 that links chlorpyrifos exposures to negative neurodevelopmental effects. This has led some to call for banning use of the chemistry. The coalition and ASA comments highlight many flaws with using this one study to establish health risks - a concern also expressed by EPA’s Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Science Advisory Panel (SAP). ASA and other signers strongly encourage EPA to continue to investigate the science on this matter: To restrict or cancel the use of a chemistry based on conflicting, tenuous evidence and hypothetical risks is not the science, risk-based process required by FIFRA. The comments also highlight how multiple other studies have found no link between chlorpyrifos exposure and neurological effects.

Chlorpyrifos, which is registered in 50 crops, is an important tool for U.S. growers and represents hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits to growers through preserved yields and reduced operational costs. Read ASA’s comments here and the coalition comments here.


BEHIND THE SCENES

ASA reached out to Politico this week regarding chlorpyrifos, seeking coverage on a counterargument to the position made by environmental activists Earthjustice in a March 4 letter to EPA. ASA responded on behalf of the organization and other agricultural coalition partners, sharing with Politico comments filed by the coalition of agriculture groups and also by ASA to EPA earlier this week. From Politico Thursday:

FARM GROUPS DEFEND CHLORPYRIFOS: While environmental and consumer groups continue their quest for the federal government to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, some ag organizations are insisting that the chemical is a necessary crop protection tool and that the science on its potential dangers to humans is mixed.

Close to 40 groups representing interests from soybeans to potatoes told the EPA that they “strongly support” the agency renewing chlorpyrifos’ registration as it evaluates the science as part of its periodic process. Not reauthorizing chlorpyrifos “could lead to catastrophic yield losses for many of the growers we represent or our customers, as often inadequate or no viable insect management alternatives to chlorpyrifos exist,” the groups said in public comments to EPA .

They also said they’re “gravely concerned” that overreliance on data linking exposure to the pesticide to neurological damage - which the EPA has acknowledged has “shortcomings” - will result in “significant damage” to producers.


   

 

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