The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency refused Wednesday to ban a commonly used pesticide that the Obama administration had sought to outlaw based on mounting concerns about its risks to human health.
The chemical compound chlorpyrifos, also known as Lorsban, has been used by farmers for more than a half-century to kill pests on crops including broccoli, strawberries and citrus. The EPA banned its spraying indoors to combat household bugs more than a decade ago. But only in recent years did the agency seek to ban its use in agriculture, after mounting scientific evidence that prenatal exposure can pose risks to fetal brain and nervous system development.
Under President Barack Obama, the EPA proposed in 2015 to revoke all uses of chlorpyrifos on food — a move taken in response to a petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Pesticide Action Network North America. A federal judge had given the EPA until Friday to decide whether to finalize its ban of the pesticide.
On Wednesday, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt decided the answer would be no.
You can read the rest at the Washington Post.