July 25, 2017

Congress Should Pass Bill Reversing Pruitt Decision on Dangerous Pesticide

Statement by Karen Perry Stillerman, Union of Concerned Scientists

WASHINGTON (July 25, 2017)—A bill introduced by Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rely on scientific findings when deciding whether to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos. The bill would require the agency to protect the health and safety of children and farmworkers who could be hurt by exposure to the pesticide. 

Below is a statement by Karen Perry Stillerman, senior strategist and analyst with the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“When EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt decided to allow the use of chlorpyrifos, he did so in defiance of his own agency’s scientific assessment that this chemical poses serious health risks, especially to children. Exposure to chlorpyrifos in utero and in childhood is dangerous for brain development. The EPA also acknowledges concern for the farmworkers who apply this pesticide to our food. Yet Pruitt will allow it to be used anyway. That’s unacceptable.

“In six short months, this administration has demonstrated an alarming pattern of disregarding science in making decisions that affect millions of people. The EPA should be relying on the best science to keep us safe—and Senator Udall’s bill would ensure they do that in the case of chlorpyrifos.

“When it comes to our kids’ health, we can’t let science get pushed aside just because industry has something to gain.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.