Deal Reached to Ban Brain-Damaging Pesticide in California

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For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

SACRAMENTO - In a major move to protect California children, farm workers and their families, the administration of Gov. Gavin Newsom announced today it has reached an agreement with the pesticide industry to ban the use of a toxic pesticide shown to cause brain damage at even low levels of exposure.

According to the California Environmental Protection Agency,  DowAgroSciences and other companies have agreed to end the use of chlorpyrifos on crops in California by February.

The U.S. EPA was poised to ban the pesticide in 2016. But after the Trump administration came into power, in March 2017 then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt vacated the ban in at the request of the pesticide industry and conventional agribusiness. 

In contrast to the decision by President Trump and his administration, this action to prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos by agriculture operations in California demonstrates the kind of leadership where public health takes priority over the narrow interests of chemical agriculture, said EWG President Ken Cook.

“This is yet another example of California’s leadership on protection of the environment and public health in the face of the Trump administration's near daily assault against both,” said Cook, a Bay Area resident. “Gov. Newsom called the bluff of chemical agriculture and they finally yielded. This agreement will mean that California’s children, farmworkers and their families will no longer be forced to breathe a pesticide that can cause irreparable damage to the nervous system.”

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The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

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