July 18 (UPI) -- The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday declined to ban a widely used pesticide associated with neurological problems in children.
The EPA concluded there wasn't sufficient evidence of the negative neurodevelopmental effects of chlorpyrifos -- a pesticide used in farming -- to justify a ban requested by environmental groups and a collection of states.
Patti Goldman, an attorney for the environmental non-profit legal group Earthjustice, condemned the decision in a statement on Thursday.
"By allowing chlorpyrifos to stay in our fruits and vegetables, Trump's EPA is breaking the law and neglecting the overwhelming scientific evidence that this pesticide harms children's brains," Goldman said. "It is a tragedy that this administration sides with corporations instead of children's health."
The EPA banned chlorpyrifos in household uses in 2000 but said it could still be used in commercial agriculture citing scientists who said it is not harmful if used in lesser quantities.
Public health officials petitioned for a full ban on chlorpyrifos in 2007 and the 9th Circuit appellate court ordered the EPA to make a decision on whether to ban the chemical in 2015, but the Trump administration elected not to institute an outright ban two years later.
In August of 2018, the court again ordered the EPA to finalize the ban, but challenges to that decision pushed the deadline to this month.