The EPA recently released their final rule on chlorpyrifos in which they are revoking all “tolerances” for the permitted amount for use on food, effectively banning the continued use and presence of the chemical in food. According to the report, the final rule will take effect 60 days from the announcement and the official allowance for usage on American crops will end in six months. Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate pesticide that has been in use since 1965 and it is commonly applied to crops such as citrus, grapes, and sugar beets. Exposure to chlorpyrifos has been linked to many harmful effects including attention difficulties, autism, intelligence declines, problems with the working memory, and increased odds of tumor growth.
Though this is exciting news, it may be wise to continue to avoid chlorpyrifos until it is fully removed from the food system. An easy way to do this is by shopping for organic foods, or at least prioritizing organic foods for heavily sprayed crops.