California defies White House to ban controversial pesticide

California will outlaw the use of a pesticide linked to developmental problems in humans after President Donald Trump's administration scrapped plans for a nationwide ban, state health officials said Wednesday.

The decision to ban chlorpyrifos in the agriculturally rich state follows "mounting evidence" of serious health effects for exposed children and other vulnerable people, two California health agencies said in a statement.

Toxic effects including "impaired brain and neurological development" occur at lower levels of the pesticide than previously thought, said the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR).

Farmers using the product will have 15 days to challenge the ban notice in court before it comes into effect, the DPR told AFP.

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