Joe Biden's administration bans use of controversial pesticide Chlorpyrifos
- The ban was initiated by the US Environmental Protection Agency
- The pesticide has been linked to potential brain damage in children
- Bills seeking similar actions have been introduced in Congress
Chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that is commonly used in food crops, is being banned by the administration of United States President Joe Biden, according to US media reports. The restriction is being put in place as the pesticide, which has often been disputed by environmentalists, has an apparent risk to children and farmworkers.
The ban, which has been created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, was enacted months after a federal appeals court directed the federal agency to evaluate the risks associated with the pesticide, according to reports from news agency Associated Press.
Michael Regan, the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency said in a statement on Wednesday, "Today EPA is taking an overdue step to protect public health. After the delays and denials of the prior administration, EPA will follow the science and put health and safety first", according to reports from Associated Press.
The federal official made the statements citing the rocky road faced by the ban in the past decade. While a ban on the pesticide was initiated by the Environmental Protection Agency while former US President Barack Obama was still in office, the administration of successor Donald Trump reversed the decision.
Chlorpyrifos is applied on numerous crops, including soybeans, fruit and nut trees, broccoli and cauliflower. It has been linked to potential brain damage in children, according to reports from Associated Press.
The European Union, Canada and some states including California, Hawaii, New York, Maryland, and Oregon have restricted the pesticide's use on foods. Those limits -- and development of replacement pest controls -- have led to a decline in farmers’ use of chlorpyrifos, EPA said.
EPA said it would continue reviewing whether to allow the use of chlorpyrifos for purposes not directly tied to food production, such as cattle ear tags and mosquito control, according to reports from the Associated Press.
Bills seeking to prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos and similar pesticides have been introduced in Congress.