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EPA Plans to Ban Insecticide Endosulfan Based on New Data

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to ban the use of the insecticide endosulfan, which is used on vegetables, fruits, and cotton as well as on ornamental shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plants. The federal agency says the chemical can pose neurological and reproductive risks to farmworkers and wildlife and can persist in the environment.

The European Union and other countries already ban the use of endosulfan, a chemical cousin of DDT, reports a CNN blog. About 1.4 million pounds of endosulfan are used annually in the United States, according to the EPA.

Prompting the EPA’s move to ban the chemical is new data that indicates workers face greater risks than previously known. The new data, together with scientific peer review, have improved EPA’s assessment of the ecological and worker risks from endosulfan.

Endosulfan is used on a very small percentage of the U.S. food supply and does not present a risk to human health from dietary exposure, according to the EPA.

Makhteshim Agan of North America, the manufacturer of endosulfan, is working with EPA to voluntarily terminate all endosulfan uses.

“From a scientific standpoint, MANA continues to disagree fundamentally with EPA’s conclusions regarding endosulfan,” said Scott Rawlins, director of global governmental and industry relations for the company, in a statement, reports CNN.

“However, given the fact that the endosulfan market is quite small and the cost of developing and submitting additional data high, we have decided to voluntarily negotiate an agreement with EPA that provides growers with an adequate time frame to find alternatives for the damaging insect pests currently controlled by endosulfan,” Rawlins added.

Endosulfan, an organochlorine insecticide was first registered in the 1950s, and has no residential uses.

Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist with the National Resources Defense Council, a non-profit environmental group, told CNN that the EPA’s decision could influence other countries still using the chemical, especially India, where the insecticide is used by cashew growers.

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One thought on “EPA Plans to Ban Insecticide Endosulfan Based on New Data

  1. Endosulfan is neither banned by European Union or USA. In Europe, Endosulfan is only not included in the annex 1 which is only because its patent holding parent company decided to keep out of it for commercial non-viability in continuing with Endosulfan. This lack of data cannot be bridged by other companies who make endosulfan in USA, Australia or India. However, it is another hidden truth that endosulfan continued to be used on hazel nut in Italy, it is sold by France to Sahelean countries! US EPA has also not banned endosulfan as even in the recent announcement the 135 page report only requests for check on use due to concerns on farm workers and has allowed endosulfan use on cattle! We need to know that science is completely truth and not a mere opinion. Banning a chemical without having clear scientific proof is only as vain as blind faith. DDT is persistant but it is this very property helps its use against Malaria. Allowing endosulfan on cattle and arguing for ban due to its residues in polar bears is a rediculous pretext used by EU to only subtitute Endosulfan by other modern pesticide

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