A recent Viewpoints article is an example of how agriculture and the complexity of science are often misrepresented (“State must step up on pesticides,” July 13).
The claims about the presence of chlorpyrifos in umbilical cord blood and residues above a level of concern are based on old data, not contemporary studies that take into account today’s stringent regulations. Current data show that there is no causal link between chlorpyrifos use and health problems, as confirmed by the EPA in its revised 2014 risk assessment.
It takes more than 11 years and hundreds of studies before a pesticide is approved by the EPA. The framework for these studies is established and reviewed by EPA to ensure products can be used safely without any unreasonable adverse effect to the environment or public health.
Chlorpyrifos is approved for use in more than 100 countries to protect more than 50 crops. It is a critical part of pest management programs for farmers. It effectively controls insects and in many instances is less disruptive to naturally beneficial insects than other options.
California has the most stringent environmental regulations in the world. Farmers are passionately committed to growing crops that feed the world and also to protecting the safety of employees, surrounding communities and the environment. The state Department of Pesticide Regulation is evaluating chlorpyrifos use, and we expect its will base its decisions on sound scientific evidence.
Jay Vroom is president and CEO of CropLife America, the trade association for pesticide manufacturers and distributors. @croplifeamerica.org.