News from the New York Attorney General’s Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2018
Attorney General’s Office Press Office / 212-416-8060
A.G. UNDERWOOD ANNOUNCES MAJOR COURT WIN IN CHALLENGE TO TRUMP EPA OVER TOXIC PESTICIDE
New York AG Challenged EPA’s Decision to Allow the Use of Chlorpyrifos — a Pesticide that Causes Well-Documented Harms to Children’s Neurological Development
Court Directs EPA to Ban Chlorpyrifos within 60 Days
NEW YORK — New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood released the following statement, upon a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit directing the EPA to ban the use of the agricultural pesticide chlorpyrifos:
“Today’s decision is a huge win for our children’s health, blocking the Trump administration from allowing continued exposure to this toxic pesticide. The EPA’s most fundamental responsibility is to protect the health and safety of New Yorkers and all Americans — especially our children. Yet the Trump EPA continues to put corporations before people. As we’ve shown again and again in court, when the Trump administration breaks the law, we will fight back — and we will win.”
Attorney General Underwood leads a coalition of eight Attorneys General that intervened in the case.
Chlorpyrifos, a widely-used pesticide on food crops — including those consumed by infants, young children, and pregnant women — is shown to negatively impact proper development and functioning of the central nervous system and brain. This decision directs the EPA to revoke all tolerances and cancel all registrations for chlorpyrifos within 60 days.
Chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely used insecticides in the United States. It is used on numerous food crops, including those consumed by infants and young children such as apples, strawberries, bananas, pears, peaches, nectarines, and cherries. Residues of the pesticide have been repeatedly documented in baby foods and juices. The USDA’s Pesticide Data Program shows that detection of chlorpyrifos residues is common on many foods. For example, residues were found on over 42% of almonds sampled in 2007 and 2008 (the only two years almonds were tested).
The pesticide acts by inhibiting an enzyme that is key to the proper development and functioning of the central nervous system and brain. Several studies have shown that children born to women exposed to chlorpyrifos during pregnancy had cognitive and motor development delays in the first three years, and structural changes in the brain, lower working memory and IQ scores at age seven, and movement disorders (including arm tremors) by age eleven.