August 09, 2018

Udall Statement on Federal Court Ordering Ban on Chlorpyrifos

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee overseeing the EPA’s budget, released the following statement after a federal appeals court nullified the Trump Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2017 decision not to ban the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos.

Udall has led the effort in the Senate to ban chlorpyrifos. In 2017, he introduced the Nerve Agent Pesticides Act to ban the toxic pesticide.

“Today’s decision represents a monumental victory for the health and safety of children and farmworkers – and an unequivocal repudiation of the Trump administration’s unjustifiable refusal to ban chlorpyrifos. The science on chlorpyrifos is settled: it is a toxic, nerve agent pesticide that damages children’s brains and causes serious health issues in workers exposed to the chemical on the job. Scientists and pediatricians tell us there is no level at which the use of chlorpyrifos on food is safe. It is long past time for this dangerous chemical to come off our food, off the shelves, and off the market.

“The fact that a federal court had to order the Trump EPA to ban a toxic chemical linked to brain damage in children is another disturbing sign of this administration’s priorities. When then-Administrator Pruitt reversed the proposed ban on chlorpyrifos – one of the first major actions under Trump’s EPA – the Trump administration defied EPA’s own scientists and rejected the fundamental mission of the EPA to protect public health. In a clear and troubling indication of what was to come under this administration, the Trump EPA put the profits of its friends in the chemical industry over the health and safety of America’s children and farmworkers.

“Now that a federal court has spoken, the Trump EPA must end its shameful inaction on chlorpyrifos and ban this toxic chemical in food once and for all. Acting Administrator Wheeler needs to take immediate action to show that the Trump EPA will stop prioritizing the profits of industry and start putting public health first.”