U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville and a coalition of Republican colleagues are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to back off from a regulatory push to limit American farmers’ use of an insecticide relied on for crop production.
Chlorpyrifos, the insecticide being targeted, has been widely used in the U.S. since 1965. In particular, it’s utilized by soybean and cotton farmers in Alabama.
Tuberville (R-Auburn) joined dozens of Senate and House colleagues in that letter, urging the agencies to comply with a recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruling, noting the importance of chlorpyrifos to agricultural production in the U.S.
“The court has spoken and, consistent with its decision, we believe farmers should have access to this critical tool for the 2024 growing season. EPA should follow the court’s ruling and immediately allow safe uses of chlorpyrifos,” the letter read.
“EPA should move expeditiously to follow the court’s direction that vacates the revocation rule,” said the legislators. “Protecting the use of critical crop protection tools, like chlorpyrifos, is of the utmost importance as our nation continues to make strides towards bolstering a strong domestic food supply, especially in the wake of a global pandemic and record inflation.”
In August of 2021, the EPA released what is referred to as the Final Tolerance Rule for Chlorpyrifos, which ended food tolerances for the insecticide beginning on February 28, 2022.
Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.