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EPA Again Proposes Insecticide Ban

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to restrict the use of a Dow Chemical insecticide on food products early next year due to concerns over its neurotoxicity.

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to restrict the use of a Dow Chemical insecticide on food products early next year due to concerns over its neurotoxicity.

Chemical & Engineering News notes that the EPA is under a court order to make a determination about the use of chlorpyrifos by March 31 β€” about a decade after the agency initially failed to respond to a petition raising concerns about the chemical from environmental advocates.

Those groups suggested that the chemical was linked to neurodevelopmental issues in children, and the EPA last year proposed revoking all food tolerances for chlorpyrifos.

Dow officials strongly criticized that decision, which prompted the EPA to re-evaluate its data. A revised assessment, however, again proposed banning its use for food products, C&EN reports.

"Based on current labeled uses, the revised analysis indicates that expected residues of chlorpyrifos on food crops exceed the safety standard under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act," the agency wrote.

Dow responded that chlorpyrifos are a crucial tool for farmers growing dozens of crops and said that it disagreed with the latest findings.

β€œThe assessment lacks scientific rigor, is contrary to EPA and administration policies of data access and transparency in scientific decision-making, and falls short of the FIFRA requirement that decisions be based on valid, complete and reliable scientific data," Dow AgroSciences' Phil Jost said in a statement.

The company urged stakeholders to oppose the recommendation during a public comment period and noted that the EPA could elect to continue allowing the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops by the March deadline.

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