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Corteva To Stop Production Of Chlorpyrifos Linked To Brain Damage In Kids

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Corteva Agriscience announced its decision to stop the production of the controversial insecticide chlorpyrifos, which is linked to neurological developmental issues in children, by the end of the year. The largest manufacturer of the chemical said the decision was taken due to declining sales amid weak demand, even though it continues to believe that chlorpyrifos is safe.

The news comes as California banned manufacturers from selling the agricultural chemical as of February 6, while farmers in the state cannot use chlorpyrifos products after December 31. Various states including New York, and the European Union are also preparing to ban the harmful chemical.

For years, environmental groups have been forcing the authorities to ban the neurotoxic pesticide that has been linked to low birth weight, lower IQ and attention disorders in children.

In the year 2000, the U.S. banned it from residential use after scientific study revealed that the pesticide poses a clear risk to children, farmworkers, and users of rural drinking water.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA continued to defend its safety for agricultural uses. Under President Donald Trump, the agency reversed the ban on chlorpyrifos use citing lack of enough evidence to link it to children's health problems. This was despite calls from EPA scientists and the American Academy of Pediatrics to ban the insecticide.

Corteva, the primary manufacturer of chlorpyrifos, was part of DowDuPont Inc. prior to the spin off in June 2019. The chemical, sold under the Lorsban brand, is used on a variety of crops, including almonds, corn, citrus, grapes, and cauliflower.

Along with competition from generic versions, the weak demand also reflects farmers opting for other chemicals, seeds coated with pesticides and genetically engineered crops.

Corteva recently agreed to sell chlorpyrifos assets in India.

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