Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Supports Legislation to Re-Ban Chlorpyrifos from Harming Keiki, Workers, Environment

February 22, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) announced support today for legislation to re-ban Chlorpyrifos (CPY), a dangerous pesticide that has been linked to damaging and often irreversible health outcomes in workers, pregnant women, and children. In March 2017, Trump-Appointed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt reversed an existing ban on the use of Chlorpyrifos. In addition to numerous harmful effects on human health, the chemical also creates severe learning and memory deficits in honey bees –potentially jeopardizing a critical pollinator and the health of ecosystems around the world. Agriculture companies sprayed approximately 6 million pounds of Chlorpyrifos (CPY) on crops between 2009 and 2013, prior to the Obama-era ban.

 

On Kauai, after Syngenta Hawaii exposed dozens of workers to Chlorpyrifos (CPY) in 2016 and 2017, Syngenta opted to pay a fine of merely $150,000 and spend $400,000 on worker protection training sessions – a small fraction of the more than $4.8 million the Environmental Protection Agency was originally seeking.

 

“Administrator Pruitt’s decision to lift the ban on Chlorpyrifos was reckless and short-sighted, and has put the health and well-being of our keiki, expecting mothers, field workers, agricultural communities, and 'āina at risk. We’ve seen the direct impact here at home, where Kauai workers were hospitalized after exposure to this dangerous chemical. The fact that the Trump-run EPA allowed Syngenta to get away with a slap on the wrist after this illegal act is absolutely unacceptable. In addition to urgently passing this legislation to keep this toxic chemical out of our air, food, and water, we must take action to hold industrial agri-businesses accountable for putting profits over the health and safety of the American people and our planet,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

 

Background:

The Pesticide Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 3380) bans from commerce Chlorpyrifos, a toxic chemical that has been linked to damaging and often irreversible health outcomes in workers, pregnant women and children. This legislation has been endorsed by numerous organizations including the Pesticides Action Network of North America, the National Resources Defense Council, Environmental Working Group, Sierra Club, PANNA, Earthjustice, Californians for Pesticide Reform, American Academy of Pediatrics, and United Farm Workers of America.

 

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