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Food and Health E-ssentials

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Study Reports US Lags EU, Brazil and China in Banning Harmful Pesticides 

The United States lags behind other major economies in restricting or banning the use of potentially harmful pesticides in connection with agricultural production, according to a recently released report.

Published earlier this year in the journal Environmental Health, the report, titled “The USA lags behind other agricultural nations in banning harmful pesticides,” found that 72 pesticides banned in the EU are still approved for use in the US. In addition, the US continues to allow the use of 17 pesticides banned in Brazil and 11 pesticides banned in China. 

More specifically, the report notes that, of the 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides used in US agriculture in 2016, more than 300 million pounds consisted of pesticides banned in the EU.

The report’s author, Nathan Donley of the U.S.-based Center for Biological Diversity, notes that nearly 75 percent of pesticides no longer available for use in the U.S. market were withdrawn as a result of voluntary, industry-initiated action and not regulatory oversight, as is more common in the EU and other agricultural economies. According to Donley, voluntary withdrawals generally result in “significantly longer phase-out period(s)” than those resulting from regulatory action.

A summary of the report’s findings as posted to the ScienceDaily website is available here.

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