Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

PAN Takes EPA Back to Court Over Brain-Harming Pesticide

Today, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and partners are taking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back to court over the widely-used pesticide chlorpyrifos. Last week, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the agency was reversing course on a planned withdrawal of the chemical, ignoring the findings and recommendations of the agency’s own scientists. Chlorpyrifos has been linked to many health hazards, and is known to be particularly damaging to children’s developing brains.

Lawyers at Earthjustice representing PAN are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to direct EPA to act within 30 days to ban all uses of chlorpyrifos, based on the agency’s repeated findings that the pesticide is unsafe.

PAN’s policy director Kristin Schafer commented on today’s action:

“EPA’s stunning reversal on chlorpyrifos in the face of overpowering scientific evidence of harm to children signals yet another dereliction of duty under the Trump administration. If it takes a court order for EPA to stand up to pressure from Dow’s lobbyists and do right by children and their families, then so be it.

“We work with rural families in communities across the country who are regularly exposed to this and other dangerous pesticides. They have a right to air and water that is not contaminated with chemicals known to put their children’s health at risk — and we think this should take precedence over Dow’s bottom line.”

In 2012 Bonnie Wirtz, a beginning farmer in Minnesota, was exposed to chlorpyrifos drift from a nearby alfalfa field when she was at home with her infant Jayden. She and Jayden were rushed to the hospital with acute symptoms from the exposure, and began advocating for reduced use of child-harming pesticides across the state.

“This decision by the EPA does not make any sense. We know this pesticide is harming our children and it is the EPA's job to protect us from chemicals like this. The fact that they would put the interests of one chemical corporation over the health of families like mine is frustrating.

By leaving this chemical on the market we are gambling with the lives of children and their long term well-being and they have no choice in the matter. That's reckless and heartbreaking.”

###

PANNA (Pesticide Action Network North America) works to replace pesticide use with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five autonomous PAN Regional Centers worldwide, we link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens' action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society.

'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·


US Progressive Caucus Hails Honduran Election as Chance for 'New Chapter' in Relations

"We encourage the Biden administration to use this opportunity to make a clean break with previous presidential administrations, which worked to ensure that the 2009 coup d'état succeeded."

Brett Wilkins ·


'The Facts of This Case Are So Egregious': Parents of Michigan School Shooter Charged in Killings

"There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent," the Oakland County prosecutor said of the mother and father now being sought by law enforcement.

Kenny Stancil ·


Health Minister Says 'Highly Transmissible' Omicron Hitting Young Children Hard in South Africa

In South Africa's worst-affected province, children under the age of five now make up the second-largest group being admitted to hospitals.

Julia Conley ·


Groups Tell UN Food Agency to Ditch 'Toxic Alliance' With Pesticide Association

"This partnership with CropLife is in direct conflict with FAO's mandate as a U.N. institution to fulfill human rights to health, adequate food, clean water and environment, and safe working conditions."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo