US: EPA to ban chlorpyrifos

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington is banning the use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that is used on oranges, apples, cherries, grapes, broccoli and asparagus, however this has sparked arguments between companies.

U.S farms use more than 6 million pounds of this pesticide each year. The overuse of this pesticide could make insects immune to it.

The EPA said in a written statement that its current analysis does not suggest risks from exposure to chlorpyrifos in food. But when those exposures are combined with estimated exposure from drinking water in certain watersheds, "EPA cannot conclude that the risk from aggregate exposure meets the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act safety standard." the statement said.

CropLife America, a trade group that represents pesticide producers, called the proposed ban a "drastic and unnecessary step that is caused by wasteful, agenda-driven litigation" filed by environmental groups.

Joel Nelson, president of the California Citrus Mutual said regulators in his state want to apply a "broad-brush approach" that he called unfair. Alternative pesticides exist, but Nelson said they're not as effective and are more expensive.

The EPA said it will take public comments on the proposal for at least two months, with a final rule expected in December 2016. The rule would not take effect until 2017 at the earliest

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