What business does a pesticide linked to brain damage in children have being sprayed on the food our families eat? None, say California officials.

On May 8, California became the third state, after New York and Hawaii, to ban chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic pesticide. Gov. Gavin Newsom also announced funding to help farmers transition to safer alternatives, a process expected to take six months to two years. As our nation's most productive agricultural state, nearly a million pounds of chlorpyrifos are sprayed in California each year.

"This is a huge victory for California's children," said Kara Cook-Schultz, director of our national toxics campaign. “The timing for this announcement is particularly appropriate because we’ve entered the chlorpyrifos spraying season in the San Joaquin Valley. Ending this awful practice will save children from contact with this chemical and, in turn, save lives.”

CALPIRG will continue to call for careful oversight until chlorpyrifos is completely removed from farms and our food.

Read the press release.

Photo: Chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic pesticide linked to brain damage in children, is commonly sprayed on food crops across the country. Credit: Public domain