Although chlorpyrifos, a pesticide sprayed on fruits and vegetable, does not meet safety standards laid out by a 1938 U.S. law, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, it is still being used with the EPA’s blessing. Oddly, in the year 2000 the EPA banned its use in homes, schools, day care facilities, parks, hospitals, nursing homes, and malls, yet still allows chlorpyrifos to be used on crops including corn, almonds, apples, and oranges.
Chlorpyrifos is a neurotoxin that has been linked to adverse side effects, including birth defects, in pregnant mothers who work in close proximity to where the poison has been applied, and according to the National Pesticide Information Center there is a long list of symptoms and conditions that can result from exposure.
Despite two separate court orders, the EPA has failed to produce a final rule banning chlorpyrifos, notwithstanding two proposals it itself created calling for a ban. And now the current administration has issued an executive order that attempts to make sure such a ban will ever take place.
State attorney generals from New York, Maryland, Vermont, Washington, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, upset with the EPA’s disregard for public health, are now trying to intervene in a lawsuit filed by environmental and social welfare groups, thus adding strength to efforts to that compel the EPA to carry out the ban.
Whether the effort succeeds is anyone’s guess, but it points out why you should try to buy only organic fruits and vegetables or, at the very least, thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables, which will remove some, but not all of the poison.
It is unfortunate that governmental agencies that are supposed to protect us are sacrificing not only public health, but our environment, because big corporations have more influence than our lawmakers.