Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Press Release

New York Becomes Third State To Ban Brain-Damaging Pesticide

WASHINGTON -

Beginning next year, a neurotoxic pesticide that at low doses can trigger brain and behavioral damage in children will be banned from use by agricultural operations in New York State.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation to take immediate steps to phase out all aerial applications of chlorpyrifos for all uses, except spraying apple tree trunks, by December 2020. All uses of the pesticide will be banned by 2021.

The state legislature passed a bill banning the crop chemical earlier this year, but Cuomo vetoed the measure. He argued that he did not agree with taking such action “by legislative decree,” preferring instead to rely on the judgment of “chemists, health experts, and other subject matter experts in this field.”

New York is now the third state to take such action. California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a complete ban on chlorpyrifos in October, and in 2018 Hawaii was the first state to act, banning all uses of the pesticide.

2015 analysis of federal data by EWG found chlorpyrifos was most heavily used in Columbia, Ulster and Orange counties in upstate New York.

The European Union announced a phaseout of chlorpyrifos on Dec. 6.

The Environmental Protection Agency was poised to implement a nationwide ban on chlorpyrifos early in 2017. But after the 2016 election, Dow launched an aggressive campaign to block that decision.

Dow, the pesticide’s main manufacturer, donated $1 million to President Trump’s inauguration festivities, and its CEO met privately with then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Ignoring his agency’s own scientists, Pruitt aborted the scheduled ban soon after.

Pruitt resigned in disgrace in July 2018 after a scandal-ridden 18-month tenure, but Andrew Wheeler, who took over as agency administrator, fought in federal court to keep chlorpyrifos legal.

EWG President Ken Cook said Cuomo’s move demonstrates the kind of leadership needed from elected officials to put the health and safety of children ahead of the narrow interests of the pesticide industry.

“The children of New York will be safer as a result of the decision to ban this pesticide that can cause irreversible neurological damage,” Cook said. “Chemical agribusiness may hold sway within the Trump EPA over pesticide policy, but not in those states where protecting the health of children and farmworkers is a top priority.”

###

The Environmental Working Group is a community 30 million strong, working to protect our environmental health by changing industry standards.

'Utterly Obscene': Just 8 Pfizer and Moderna Investors Became $10 Billion Richer After Omicron Emerged

"Pharma execs and shareholders are making a killing from a crisis they helped to create," said one justice campaigner.

Jon Queally ·


Ilhan Omar Calls Kevin McCarthy 'A Liar and a Coward' for Refusing to Condemn Boebert's Islamophobia

"This is who they are," said the Minnesota Democrat. "And we have to be able to stand up to them. And we have to push them to reckon with the fact their party right now is normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry."

Jon Queally ·


'Congress Must Act': Bernie Sanders Demands End of Filibuster to Codify Abortion Rights

"We must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country. And if there aren't 60 votes to do it, and there are not, we must reform the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes."

Jon Queally ·


Human Rights Defenders Warn Biden Border Policy 'Quickly Transforming Into Trump 2.0'

Like his predecessor, President Joe Biden now being accused of "using racist, xenophobic tropes about immigrants to weaponize Covid-19 against migrants and asylum-seekers."

Jon Queally ·


'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 ·

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