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Cental Coast farmers lose another pesticide

A pesticide used in commercial agriculture to fight insects is being banned by a federal court order to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Concern that Chlorpyrifos can cause birth defects, harm the brain and nervous system led the EPA to ban its household use in 2000.

But the EPA has allowed its continued use in commercial agriculture with some scientists and others in the ag industry saying it can be used in safe quantities as an effective insecticide.

Pesticide use by farmers is under constant scrutiny and regulatory control due to potential impacts to farm labor as well as harmful runoff into rivers, creeks and groundwater.

The 2-1 ruling by the federal court on the Chlorpyrifos ban came on a lawsuit brought by public health groups and state attorneys general.

It orders the EPA to “revoke all tolerances and cancel all registrations” for the insecticide within 60 days.

The federal court order also criticized the EPA under the former Democrat administration and the current Republican administration for stalling a ban on Chlorpyrifos.

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