Democrat Bill Would Ban Pesticides to Protect Farm Workers

Legislation introduced by two Democratic lawmakers would ban chlorpyrifos and other pesticides that cause concern among farmworker groups due to negative health effects. The bill from Tom Udall of New Mexico and Joe Neguse of Colorado would ban organophosphates. According to that’s a group of pesticides that attack the nervous system and that research has shown has damaging effects on farmworkers. It includes chlorpyrifos, which the EPA has been under pressure to ban, thanks to a series of lawsuits. The legislation also would ban neonicotinoids, which have damaging effects on vulnerable bee populations.

“The farmworkers who feed our country face dangerous chemical exposure without recourse to protect their health, and surrounding communities bear the frontline costs of pesticide runoff in their land, water, and air,” says Udall.

The EPA under the Trump Administration has repeatedly issued emergency exemptions allowing farmers to continue using pesticides that are otherwise restricted. The bill would bring that to an end, as well as allow local communities to block some pesticides without being preempted by state law. It also places more requirements on farms and chemical companies.

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