LULAC Case Leads to Major Court Decision Protecting the Health of Millions
Ruling calls for EPA to ban a pesticide in use for decades which leads to brain damage
Washington, DC – A landmark court victory by LULAC and a coalition of organizations has been achieved today for millions of Latinos, especially children, farmworkers and others harmed by the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which the EPA refused to ban last year.
“We are elated with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision as it ends EPA’s irresponsible actions,” said Sindy Benavides, Chief Executive Officer at the League of United Latin American Citizens. “For years corporations like Dow were able to hijack our government to put profit before people. But today the court sided with reason. Children and farmworkers have the right to live and work without risk of poisonings."
The decision is in a case titled League of United Latin American Citizens v. Andrew Wheeler. In its 2-1 ruling, the court cited scientific evidence that proves chlorpyrifos residue on food is harmful to neurodevelopment in children and has adverse effects on adults as well.
“We must protect our farm workers and our environment for generations to come,” stated Domingo Garcia, LULAC National President. “For years, our Latino farmworkers and others have toiled in the fields, often mere hours after the pesticide chlorpyrifos was sprayed on the crops where they were working and they have suffered the terrible consequences to their health. Today’s court victory is one more step to a better America.”
Scott Pruitt, appointed EPA Director by President Trump, refused to ban chlorpyrifos stating he disputed the research findings. However, Judge Jed Rakoff ruled there was, “…no justification for the delay.” The court ruling today was critical of the government’s lack of response to those who questioned the EPA’s actions. “The time has come to put an end to this patent evasion,” added Rakoff.
“We are thankful that our democracy has a checks and balances and it includes our judicial system. It should be a no brainer when it comes to the health of our children,” stated Diana Perez, LULAC Washington State Director. “For this administration to stop protecting our most precious treasure, our children, from the harmful effects of pesticides is deplorable. There are so many other pesticides used already that we still don't know the cumulative effect of all so this order to ban one of the many is a victory. Our health, our children and our environment go hand in hand to ensure that all workers are safe and protected. Thank you to our coalition partners and particularly to EarthJustice, for working hard to represent us!”
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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 1,000 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.