EPA bans pesticides linked to health problems

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(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The White House announced that it will ban the use of chlorpyrifos, a popular pesticide used on food crops. Officials said the ban comes as studies show the chemical poses a serious health risk to kids and farmworkers. 

Those pesticides have been used on fruits and vegetables like corn, soybeans, apples, and broccoli since 1965 but that will stop in six months when the ban takes effect. 

This decision comes in response to an order from 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Chlorpyrifos and similar pesticides have been on their way out since 2000 and the ban on this one organophosphate signals an expectation of more to come. 

FOX 46 spoke with Jim Burnette from the Pesticide Division of North Carolina’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services who was not surprised by this at all.

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FOX 46 asked him if this is going to hurt farmers in the Carolinas – he doesn’t think so.

“The EPA made that clear in its announcement yesterday that there are alternatives that are less risky, less hazardous, less toxic to humans than the organophosphates including chlorpyrifos,” Burnette said.

Burnette explained what the ban applies to; “If a product only has food uses on labels than than entire product would be cancelled, and could no longer be distributed sold or used in the US, if both food and non-food they could elect to eliminate food uses and continue with non-food uses.” 

Burnette also explained that this law does apply to the states, so we won’t be waiting for North and South Carolina to decide – the ban affects all states. 

FOX 46 also asked if all pesticides are likely to be banned. Burnette explained that pesticides will continue to be used provided they are eligible for registration by the EPA. 

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