The court orders the prohibition of harmful pesticides, says EPA …

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration endangered public health by keeping a widely used pesticide on the market despite extensive scientific evidence that even minimal exposure levels can damage babies' brains.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States in San Francisco ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to eliminate the sale of chlorpyrifos in the United States within 60 days.

A coalition of agricultural workers and environmental groups sued last year after then-EPA chief Scott Pruitt reversed an Obama-era attempt to ban chlorpyrifos, which is widely applied to citrus fruits, apples and other crops.

A coalition of peasants and environmental groups sued last year after then-EPA chief Scott Pruitt (pictured on Capitol Hill on May 16) reversed an Obama-era attempt to ban chlorpyrifos, which is sprayed widely on citrus fruits, apples and other crops

A coalition of peasants and environmental groups sued last year after then-EPA chief Scott Pruitt (pictured on Capitol Hill on May 16) reversed an Obama-era attempt to ban chlorpyrifos, which is sprayed widely on citrus fruits, apples and other crops

A coalition of peasants and environmental groups sued last year after then-EPA chief Scott Pruitt (pictured on Capitol Hill on May 16) reversed an Obama-era attempt to ban chlorpyrifos, which is sprayed widely on citrus fruits, apples and other crops

Attorneys general from several states joined the case against the EPA, including California, New York and Massachusetts.

In a split decision, the court said on Thursday that Pruitt, a Republican forced to resign earlier this summer in the midst of a series of ethics scandals, violated federal law by ignoring the findings of agency scientists that the Chlorpyrifos is harmful.

"The panel held that there was no justification for the EPA's decision in its 2017 order to maintain a tolerance to chlorpyrifos in the face of scientific evidence that its residue in food causes damage to children's neurological development," Judge Jed wrote. S. Rakoff in court. opinion.

Michael Abboud, spokesman for EPA interim administrator Andrew Wheeler, said the agency was reviewing the decision, but had not been able to fully evaluate the pesticide using the best transparent science available.

The EPA could appeal to the Supreme Court as a member of the three-judge panel did not agree with the majority's ruling.

Environmental groups and public health advocates celebrated the court's action as a great success.

"Some things are too sacred to play politics, and our children top the list," said Erik Olson, director of health and nutrition at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"The court has made it clear that the health of children must be presented before the powerful polluters." This is a victory for parents around the world who want to feed their children fruits and vegetables without fear of damaging their brains or poisoning communities. "

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States in San Francisco ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to eliminate the sale of chlorpyrifos in the United States within 60 days. In the image: an agricultural worker spraying pesticides on crops in a field

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States in San Francisco ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to eliminate the sale of chlorpyrifos in the United States within 60 days. In the image: an agricultural worker spraying pesticides on crops in a field

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States in San Francisco ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to eliminate the sale of chlorpyrifos in the United States within 60 days. In the image: an agricultural worker spraying pesticides on crops in a field

The attorneys general of California and New York also claimed victory.

"This is one more example of how then EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt circumvented the law and endangered the health of our children, in this case, all because he refused to stop the levels of pesticides found in food," said the Prosecutor. General Xavier Becerra of California. a declaration.

Chlorpyrifos was created by Dow Chemical Co. in the 1960s. It remains one of the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States, and the chemical giant sells around 5 million pounds each year through its subsidiary Dow AgroSciences.

Dow did not respond to an email seeking comment. In previous statements, the company has argued that the chemical helps US farmers feed the world "with full respect for human health and the environment."

Chlorpyrifos belongs to a family of organophosphorus pesticides that are chemically similar to a chemical warfare agent developed by Nazi Germany before the Second World War.

As a result of its widespread use as a pesticide in the last four decades, traces of chlorpyrifos are commonly found in drinking water sources.

A 2012 study at the University of California at Berkeley found that 87 percent of the umbilical cord blood samples tested from newborn babies contained detectable levels of the pesticide.

Under pressure from federal regulators, Dow voluntarily removed chlorpyrifos for use as a domestic insecticide in 2000. The EPA also placed "no-spray" buffer zones around sensitive sites, such as schools, in 2012.

In October 2015, the Obama administration proposed banning the use of pesticides in food. A risk assessment note issued by nine EPA scientists concluded: "There is a large amount of information available on the possible adverse effects of neurodevelopment in infants and children as a result of prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos."

Federal law requires EPA to ensure that pesticides used in food in the United States are safe for human consumption, especially children, who are often much more sensitive to the negative effects of poisons.

Chlorpyrifos belongs to a family of organophosphorus pesticides that are chemically similar to a chemical warfare agent developed by Nazi Germany before the Second World War.

Chlorpyrifos belongs to a family of organophosphorus pesticides that are chemically similar to a chemical warfare agent developed by Nazi Germany before the Second World War.

Chlorpyrifos belongs to a family of organophosphorus pesticides that are chemically similar to a chemical warfare agent developed by Nazi Germany before the Second World War.

Shortly after his appointment by President Donald Trump in 2017, Pruitt announced that he was reverberating the efforts of the Obama administration to ban chlorpyrifos, adopting Dow's position that the science that shows that chlorpyrifos is harmful was not conclusive and had failures

In June 2017, Pruitt announced the reversal of its agency in chlorpyrifos only 20 days after its official calendar showed a meeting with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris.

At that time, Liveris headed a White House manufacturing task force, and his company had issued a $ 1 million check to help sign Trump's inaugural festivities.

Then, EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said that on March 9, 2017, the Pruitt schedule meeting never happened.

Bowman said the two men had only shared a "brief passing presentation" while attending the same industry conference at a Houston hotel and that they never discussed chlorpyrifos.

However, the internal EPA emails published earlier this year after a public records lawsuit filed by The Sierra Club suggest that the two men shared more than a quick handshake.

Just over a week after the conference and before Pruitt announced his decision, the EPA chief's planner contacted the Liveris executive assistant to schedule a follow-up meeting.

& # 39; I hope this message finds you well! & # 39; wrote Sydney Hupp, Pruitt's assistant, on March 20, 2017.

"Today I am approaching to establish a meeting to continue the discussion between Dow Chemical and the administrator Scott Pruitt.

"My apologies for the delay in sending you this email, it has been a crazy moment here!"

Subsequent emails show that Hupp and the Liveris office discussed several potential dates that the CEO of Dow could go to Pruitt's office at EPA headquarters, but from the documents it is unclear if the two men ever met. they linked.

Liveris announced his retirement from Dow in March of this year.

Pruitt resigned on July 6 in the midst of more than a dozen ethical investigations focused on issues such as oversized security expenses, first class flights and a condo rental for a Capitol Hill condominium linked to an energy lobbyist.

Bowman, who left the EPA in May to work for Republican Sen. Joni Ernest of Iowa, declined to comment on her earlier characterization of the Pruitt and Liveris interaction in March 2017 or on what "discussion" is about. He was referring to the internal email.

"I no longer work for the EPA," Bowman said.

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