Hawai‘i has become the first state to ban a commercial agricultural pesticide that has been banned for home use in for decades.
Taro grows on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi. Hawaii’s governor just signed a bill to ban chlorpyrifos, making the state the first to outlaw the dangerous pesticide. Hawai‘i just did what Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refuses to do: protect public health by banning the pesticide chlorpyrifos from our food and farms. In a major win for children and farmworker health in Hawai‘i, today Governor David Ige signed a bill banning this dangerous nerve agent. This is a critically important move to protect children and workers from toxic pesticide exposure, as well as communities, many of them predominantly Native Hawaiian, that face the dangers of poisonous drift. Up until now, companies in Hawai‘i developing genetically engineered crops have frequently used chlorpyrifos, and it has often been used on the state’s fruit and vegetable crops. It drifts from fields into schools and homes, threatening exposure every time a field is sprayed. Derived from a chemical the Nazis created for war, which was later repurposed for agriculture by Dow Chemical, chlorpyrifos (pronounced klawr-pir-uh-fos) has been firmly linked to reduced IQ and attention deficit disorder in children . What’s more, chlorpyrifos is highly toxic to farmworkers, causing convulsions, respiratory paralysis, and, […]