For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Rebecca Spector, 415-826-2770, 

California Ends Sale of Toxic Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

Pesticide Will be Phased Out by February 2020 to Protect Public Health and Children’s Brain Development

WASHINGTON - This week, the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) announced that the sale of the toxic pesticide, chlorpyrifos, will end in February 2020 as a result of an agreement between the Department of Pesticide Regulation and pesticide manufacturers.

“Once again, California is leading the way to protect communities and the environment by ending of the sale of chlorpyrifos," stated Rebecca Spector, West Coast director at Center for Food Safety (CFS). “This is a huge win for public health and the environment, especially for children who are particularly vulnerable to the harms caused by this toxic pesticide.”

The scientific data on the health impacts of chlorpyrifos is clear. Leading scientific and medical authorities—such as the Academy of Pediatrics, the Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health, UC Berkeley's School of Public Health, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency—have all concluded that chlorpyrifos harms children's brain development. It reduces children's IQ and puts children at risk of learning disabilities.


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“Because pregnant women, young children, and farm workers are especially susceptible to harm from exposure to chlorpyrifos, ending the use of this dangerous product is the only path forward.” Spector continued. “Kudos to the California Environmental Protection Agency for pressuring the pesticide industry to make this a reality.”

CFS also applauds CalEPA for creating a new working group to identify, evaluate, and recommend safer, more sustainable pest management alternatives to chlorpyrifos. CFS will engage with the work group to ensure that it uses the collective expertise of its members to recommend the least-toxic alternatives.

Hawai’i became the first state to ban the use of chlorpyrifos in 2018, followed by New York in 2019. Center for Food Safety provided legal and legislative support for the Hawai’i ban. Other state-wide bans on chlorpyrifos are currently being considered in Maryland, Connecticut, and New Jersey.


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Center for Food Safety is a national, non-profit, membership organization founded in 1997 to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. CFS maintains offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon, and has more than 300,000 members across the country.

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