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OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement of a new rule finding that there is no safe level of chlorpyrifos in foods, ending its use in agricultural production. Chlorpyrifos is a widely used pesticide currently approved for use on more than 80 food crops. Exposure to chlorpyrifos is associated with serious health effects, including impaired brain development, in children and other vulnerable populations. While California has already banned the agricultural use of chlorpyrifos, this decision further protects California consumers from the harms caused by chlorpyrifos residue on food products, including those coming in from out-of-state.
“For far too long, this toxic pesticide has been applied to our fruits and vegetables, endangering the health and safety of farmworkers, their families, and everyday consumers,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Today’s decision is a monumental win for parents and children across the country. At the California Department of Justice, we were part of this long, hard fight to end the use of chlorpyrifos on foods, and we are pleased to see the Biden Administration acting quickly to comply with the Ninth Circuit's order."
In 2019, the California Department of Justice joined a multistate coalition in filing a lawsuit to compel the EPA to revoke food tolerances for chlorpyrifos, and in April 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided in the coalition’s favor.
A copy of EPA’s final rule revoking all food tolerances for chlorpyrifos is available here. The rule will go into effect in 6 months.