Court Rejects EPA’s Aldicarb Approval

Ernie NeffLegal, Pesticides

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The federal Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia on June 7 rejected the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of the pesticide aldicarb on Florida oranges and grapefruit, the Center for Biological Diversity reported.

The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed in March by farmworker and conservation groups after the EPA approved the use of up to 2.5 million pounds of aldicarb on Florida oranges and grapefruit.

In the final days of the Trump administration, the EPA approved aldicarb’s use on 100,000 acres of Florida citrus — a decision that was subsequently defended by the Biden administration.

“We’re thrilled the court has rejected use of one of the most dangerous pesticides in history on Florida oranges and grapefruit,” said Nathan Donley, environmental health science director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This important decision is a sharp rebuke of the EPA’s pesticide office.”

In April, the state of Florida also rejected the Trump administration’s decision to approve aldicarb’s use on Florida citrus because the EPA failed to fully assess the neurotoxin’s harms to endangered species.

Florida agricultural officials also pointed to the threat aldicarb poses to public health and the environment. In denying approval of aldicarb use on Florida citrus, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said that “aldicarb poses an unacceptable risk to human, animal and environmental health in Florida.”

“Farmworkers can breathe a bit easier knowing that this neurotoxin will not be used on the citrus crops they harvest,“ said Jeannie Economos, coordinator of the Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project at Farmworker Association of Florida. “We are grateful to Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried for refusing to allow this toxin to poison our communities, our food and our environment.”

Source: Center for Biological Diversity

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