The EPA has announced that it intends to ban a pesticide, carbofuran, from both domestic and imported food because of the danger it poses to “general population” particularly small children. The pesticide isn’t commonly used in the United States but is popular in developing nations and is sprayed on “crops including rice, bananas, coffee and sugar cane,” according to the Washington Post.
“This is a product that we don’t believe meets our high standards for the general population, particularly for small children who are more sensitive,” said James Gulliford, EPA associate administrator for the office of prevention, pesticides and toxic substances. “While there is little exposure today [to the pesticide], we don’t think there’s a need, a reason for any exposure.”
While the pesticide is potentially dangerous for humans, it’s definitely dangerous for birds.
There is no question that carbofuran exacts a toll on wildlife: A 2006 EPA document examining the pesticide’s environmental effects found that if a flock of mallard ducks wandered into an alfalfa field within a week after the chemical was applied, 84 percent of the birds would die. The pesticide also kills bees, which have experienced an unexplained massive population collapse in recent years.
In Surprise Move, EPA Bans Carbofuran Residue on Food [Washington Post]