The debate over the EPA’s upcoming decision on a controversial crop pesticide has gone global, and some of the U.S.’s top trading partners are raising strong concerns.
The agency is inching closer to a court-ordered deadline on regulating chlorpyrifos, Dow AgroSciences’ widely used pesticide to kill insects on food crops. The Environmental Protection Agency must make a determination by March 31 on whether any amount of chlorpyrifos is safe to use on food.
If the agency decides the chemical is not safe, as it has said in its risk assessments, it would prohibit nearly every food use of chlorpyrifos. Environmental groups have sought to ban the pesticide for more than 20 years, saying that exposure is linked to developmental delays in children.
The pesticides industry and farmers have said it will be difficult to find a replacement for the broad-spectrum bug killer. It also has raised questions abroad, where exporters are asking the agency to consider the impacts on international trade.