LULAC Celebrates E.P.A. Ban Of Dangerous Pesticide, Chlorpyrifos
Nation’s Largest and Oldest Latino Civil Rights Organization Calls Decision a Victory for Millions of Farmworkers and Their Families
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued the following statement after the Biden Administration said it has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove the pesticide, Chlorpyrifos from the market within the next six months. This decision is reversing an order issued by President Trump to allow the continued use of the common and dangerous pesticide despite it being shown to cause brain damage in children. LULAC had been a plaintiff in the legal actions leading up to the initial EPA decision to remove the pesticide from the market before that action was reversed under the Trump Administration. Chlorpyrifos has been in use since the mid-1960s on such food crops as apples, broccoli, asparagus, corn, and other produce, all of which require intensive manual labor for harvesting and exposing millions of farmworkers to its harmful effects.
Sindy Benavides - LULAC National Chief Executive Officer
“LULAC has waged this battle for years because the data overwhelmingly show the harm Chlorpyrifos does to our farmworkers who toil daily in the fields picking our food. One longitudinal study in North Carolina documented the pesticide’s effects on their children through a series of lab tests over an extended period of time. It clearly showed much higher levels of pesticides in their systems just from being around their parents. The scientific data also revealed that ‘because of their short stature and characteristic behaviors, children have greater exposure to pesticides in the environment than do adults. Children have a greater surface-to-volume ratio than do adults; therefore, they receive a greater dose from the pesticides to which they are exposed. They metabolize toxicants slower than adults, so the pesticide dose they receive remains with them longer.’ It is unconscionable for our country to allow the use of such a harmful product on the market that exposes millions of hardworking men, women and their children to physical harm or even their premature deaths.”
Domingo Garcia - LULAC National President
“I grew up working in the fields and so did my family. I know firsthand what it’s like to be exposed to indescribable conditions that lead to sickness in people I knew or seeing them die at an early age. There is no excuse for having allowed a poison to be sprayed on our food for decades just because it was cheaper than other alternatives or allowed the agriculture industry to grow more crops and make a greater profit. I remember days when farmworkers were in the fields even as the spraying was being done and this led to women having miscarriages or their babies being born with deformities caused by toxic pesticides. Our children in farmworker households are having learning disabilities or physical challenges simply because of where their parents work to feed them. This should be a national shame and it is our duty to care for their needs. LULAC says, never again to pesticide poisons on our foods, at our tables, or in our homes. Ya Basta!”
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest Hispanic 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 the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/