Three organizations on March 3 sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision in the final days of the Trump administration to reapprove previously cancelled uses of the pesticide aldicarb on Florida oranges and grapefruit. The Farmworker Association of Florida, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Environmental Working Group filed the suit in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.
The EPA on Jan. 12 announced that its actions on aldicarb and the antibiotic streptomycin would help protect America’s citrus industry from HLB and citrus canker. Learn about the EPA’s actions here.
“This approval of aldicarb is just one more assault on the men and women who harvest our citrus crops in Florida, who do ‘essential’ work but who are treated as dispensable,” said Jeannie Economos, coordinator of the Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project at the Farmworker Association of Florida. “No one should risk their health and the health of their families in the course of doing a hard day’s labor feeding America.”
“The outrageous decision to just ignore all the troubling research and expand use of this dangerous neurotoxin reeks of political interference,” said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We’re asking the court to make the EPA do its job and protect people and the environment. Florida’s rivers, lakes and streams should not be a dumping ground for poisons forbidden in countries across much of the globe.”
“The former Trump administration is no longer in charge of EPA, but many of the actions it took at the behest of chemical agriculture remain in place,” said Olga Naidenko, the Environmental Working Group’s vice president for science investigations. “Aldicarb is a potent neurotoxic pesticide that is especially risky for young children who are exposed through food or proximity to the fields where it’s sprayed. The EPA must follow the science and not the demands of the pesticide industry and ban the use of aldicarb on Florida’s citrus crops.”
Source: Center for Biological Diversity