With the support from environmental and opposition groups, the EPA has identified “possible” human negative effects of chlorpyrifos, particularly in children and fetuses. Also, worker protection organizations have advocated for the ban due to worker exposure and possible adverse effects.
Corteva, with the continuing decline in use, a plethora of generic suppliers, and EPA registration challenges, decided to exit the market. But while doing so, Corteva developed two new, more environmentally safe chemistries to replace chlorpyrifos. This should be a signal to the industry; it is time to change course on chemistries.
Ag Pesticide Manufacturers and Industry organizations are worried about environmental and opposition groups being able to influence government agencies and regulators without complete data. The research sited could not identify at what concentration pesticide levels would be a concern. They are also concerned about the loss of “another tool in the toolbox,” in particular if it is the only control for certain insects and combating resistance issues by rotating chemistries.
Chlorpyrifos is not totally banned, just on food crops. There remain labels available for non-food use. Ag pesticide manufacturers will be working on good or better alternatives. There are many other choices of insecticides on the market to fill the gap. It appears the EPA also needs to use more complete data in making decisions.
Chlorpyrifos label does not recommend the addition of adjuvants to improve performance. The exception being a drift control, where there is a strong warning and procedures are suggested to reduce drift. This is also the case for replacement insecticides. Some of the replacement insecticides do recommend the addition of an adjuvant to improve performance as well as drift. It may open up adjuvant opportunities that chlorpyrifos did not recommend.