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Returning Science to the EPA

Citations

The Daily Sentinel covers Angela Logomasini's recent study on chlorpyrifos.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt recently delivered a strong message that EPA’s regulation of pesticides and other chemicals will be based on sound science, not political activism. It is welcome news for both the economy and the environment.

Mr. Pruitt denied a petition filed by anti-pesticide activists to ban chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate pesticide used around the world to protect crops and to control mosquitos. Exterminators once used it to control cockroaches in homes, too, though manufacturers took it off the home market 15 years ago because of the high cost of constant reviews required for EPA registration. In other words, EPA effectively banned home use by hiking registration costs so much that the product was simply no longer profitable (the same process banned diazinon, for years the most effective home pest control product). But chlorpyrifos remains enormously important to agriculture, and therefore, to everyone who eats.

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I understand many people worry about overuse of chemicals, but they’re not all hazardous. Some are essential.

As Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Dr. Angela Logomasini recently documented, organophosphates like chlorpyrifos, properly used in agriculture, are not dangerous. The very low diluted doses farmers use are enough to kill some insects — but nowhere near enough to affect humans, thanks to very stringent regulations based on decades of scientific analysis. Such federal pesticide rules determine maximum quantities, though farmers use it in much smaller doses than allowed. That’s because such chemicals are expensive, so one uses the smallest amounts that will eliminate crop-destroying insects.

Read the full article at The Daily Sentinel.