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LULAC Disappointed with Trump Administration's Failure to Ban Toxic Pesticides on Eve of César Chavez Day

March 31, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declined to ban chlorpyrifos - a dangerous pesticide widely used in agriculture and linked to many health hazards, particularly neurological damage in children. Last year, LULAC joined other health, environmental, and civil rights organizations to file a legal petition requesting a ban on the toxic pesticide, and the EPA's announcement fails to address the safety and health impacts of the chemical’s continued use.

“The EPA’s refusal to ban this highly toxic pesticide is absolutely unacceptable,” said LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. “Once again, Administrator Pruitt fails to recognize scientific evidence and has chosen to side with the interests of the pesticide industry over the health and safety of our children and families.”

Seventeen years ago, the EPA eliminated all home uses of the pesticide, but reapproved its use in agriculture, allowing the continued risk of poisoning farmworkers, their children, and rural families, and dismissing the growing evidence that prenatal exposure damages the neurological development of children. In 2015, the Obama administration proposed banning the substance amid concerns about its severe effects on health, which was overridden by the latest EPA decision.

“The EPA’s decision is a slap in the face to the Latino community as we observe César Chavez Day and honor the memory of the revered activist who tirelessly fought for the rights of agricultural workers and their families,” said Rocha. “Failure to ban this toxic chemical is an insult to his memory and further contaminates our food supply, water, and land while endangering the lives of our children, families, and agricultural workers. We will hold the EPA accountable for this decision, and will take every step necessary to improve the safety and well-being of our community.”

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The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.lulac.org.

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