EPA’s Chlorpyrifos Ban Spotlights Future of Agricultural Pesticide Use
Monday, September 13, 2021
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Experts say most agriculture producers in Kentucky won't be affected by the Environmental Protection Agency's recent decision to ban a common pesticide, widely used since the 1960s on fruits and vegetables, because it has been linked to neurological damage in children.
The new rule takes effect in six months and follows an order in April by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that directed the EPA to halt the agricultural use of the chemical unless it could demonstrate its safety.
University of Kentucky Extension entomologist Rick Bessin said the phaseout of chlorpyrifos won't be a huge loss to the state's produce industry.
"We did use some chlorpyrifos in Kentucky," said Bessin. "But when I look at the national map of where it was used, we were very much a lower-use rate than many other states."
Chlorpyrifos is commonly applied to corn, soybeans, apples, broccoli, asparagus and other produce. Numerous studies have shown the chemical can cause damage in kids' developing brains, leading to reduced IQ, attention deficit disorder and loss of memory.
Bessin added that newer pesticide products are increasingly selective, meaning they target one particular pest without affecting honeybees and other ecologically important wildlife.
"They may not kill all insects out in the field," said Bessin. "They may just target a few. They may get aphids and white flies, and they won't touch the caterpillars or beetles."
Bessin also added that climate change potentially could affect the quantities of pesticides used on food crops in the future.
"So if climate change results in we have more frequent pest problems," said Bessin, "where pests get above what we call an economic threshold, we're going to end up using more pesticides."
The Division of Environmental Services in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture regulates federal and state pesticide laws, and requires that applicators keep detailed records of pesticide use.
Commercial and non-commercial pesticide applicators in the state must be certified and licensed.
An Order in League of United Latin Am. Citizens et al vs. Regan the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit 4/29/21
What You Need To Know About Chlorpyrifos Earthjustice 2021
Federal and Kentucky Pesticide Laws and Regulations the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology 2021
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
Most people probably never give a second thought to their visits to the dentist, but not everyone can navigate this process with ease. People with …
Christmas is a little more than two weeks away, and toy drives around the country are in full swing. A North Dakota organizer shares some things to …
A federal judge in Nevada has dealt three tribal nations a legal setback in their efforts to stop what could be the construction of the country's larg…
Hoosiers could get their holiday trees from any of about 200 tree farms in the state, according to the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association…
Reports from the Insurance Commissioner's office and the state Attorney General reveal an analysis of what they call "the true costs of health care" i…
Health and Wellness
The holiday season is filled with recipes passed down from years before, and feasting with family and friends. But think again before you have …
Connecticut lawmakers are reluctant to approve new emission standards that would require 90% cleaner emissions from internal-combustion engines and re…
While lawmakers and environmental groups strive to lower vehicle emissions and the nation's carbon footprint, many truckers see unrealistic …