Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Supports Bill to Ban Chlorpyrifos
US Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today announced support for legislation to re-ban the use and stockpile of a toxic pesticide, chlorpyrifos. The dangerous pesticide has been linked to damaging and often irreversible health outcomes in workers, pregnant women, and children. Last year, Hawai‘i became the first state in the country to ban pesticides containing chlorpyrifos.
Rep. Gabbard said that in addition to its harmful effects on human health, the chemical also creates severe learning and memory deficits in honey bees –potentially jeopardizing a critical pollinator and the health of ecosystems in Hawai‘i and across the country.
In March 2017, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt reversed an existing ban on the use of chlorpyrifos that was put in place by the Obama Administration. On Kauaʻi Syngenta opted to pay a fine of $150,000 and spend $400,000 on worker protection training sessions – a small fraction of the more than $4.8 million the Environmental Protection Agency was originally seeking.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said: “The people of Kaua‘i suffered the painful consequences of chlorpyrifos being used in our community, where dozens of workers were hospitalized from exposure to this dangerous pesticide. We cannot put a price tag on the health and lives of our people. The use of chlorpyrifos puts the health and well-being of our keiki, expecting mothers, field workers, agricultural communities, and our ‘aina and wai at risk. We must build on progress made in Hawai‘i and keep this toxic chemical out of our air, food, and water, and hold industrial agri-businesses accountable for endangering our people and our planet.”
The Ban Toxic Pesticides Act would ban Chlorpyrifos by cancelling current EPA registration and prohibiting future registration of pesticides that contain Chlorpyrifos. Congresswoman Gabbard has also championed integrated pest management techniques and biocontrol solutions as alternative pathways to reduce chemical applications for controlling noxious weed and pest impacts on agriculture and the environment.