Gary Baise Commentaries
EPA bans another pesticide
Back in August, EPA released a final rule revoking all tolerances for chlorpyrifos. This is just the beginning. EPA and the Biden environmentalists want to stop the use of this pesticide on all food to better protect human health.
The human health we are talking about is that of children and farm workers. Get used to this.
Chlorpyrifos is an insecticide that is primarily used to control foliage and soil insects. With regard to some crops, there is no substitute. This insecticide is used on a large variety of crops, including soybeans.
We can only hope that genetic modification saves us all.
The insecticide is also used on some fruit and nut trees.
As you may know, EPA sets tolerances which allows the maximum amount of a pesticide to remain in or on a food product. The decision to get rid of this product came out of a recent Order from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Circuit Court judges in San Francisco responded to a petition filed by the Pesticide Action Network and Natural Resources Defense Council.
EPA, under the Trump administration, had denied the original petition, but the 9th Circuit, with all its agricultural expertise, ruled that EPA had failed to make requisite safety findings.
Environmental organizations always run to the 9th Circuit to obtain the decision they desire. EPA’s action means there is no safe level of residues.
Chlorpyrifos, being an organophosphate, is a class EPA has been after for years and decades. Many farmers have used Lorsban. As we know, Lorsban is no longer in use, so farmers will have to look for other options to control insects in field crops like soybeans.
Other products that kill insects are also under attack, such as neonicotinoids and pyrethroids.
The health effects the Court is concerned about are in dispute by the experts at USDA. It was their concern which caused the Trump administration to leave the product on the market. Those concerns were brushed aside by the 9th Circuit.
Chlorpyriphos, which is used to control spider mites or aphids, is now a tool lost to farmers by the “experts” in the 9th Circuit.
There are those who believe that EPA is not using good or sound science in banning chlorpyrifos. Again, the Biden administration is listening to the environmentalists and the courts instead of defending the good science from USDA.
As all of you know, chlorpyrifos is widely used and the environmental groups believe they have studies from various universities showing that chlorpyrifos damages the brains of children. That is the main reason EPA is taking chlorpyrifos off the market.
The paper from USDA disagrees.
One environmental group stated, “We are gratified that the EPA has released a chlorpyrifos plan that prioritizes science and truth over politics.” USDA has a paper which claims the opposite.
You be the judge as to whether you would rather rely on the experts at USDA or the experts in the environmental community and the 9th Circuit Court.
Do not be surprised that your broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cranberries, and soybeans, as well as fruits and nuts, cost more than in the past.
In another blog we will write about the judges who wrote this opinion and their extensive agricultural background, or lack thereof.
There may be substitutes for chlorpyrifos, but another cost-effective tool has been taken away from the producers of American foods.