We all want our fruits and vegetables to be as clean as possible. But pesticides DO help in that regard. That is why the National Onion Association takes a firm stance on the use of pesticides in agriculture. What many people do not realize about pesticides is that for our fruits and vegetables to have a fighting chance to get to consumers tables, they have to fend off a host of nasty critters and bugs trying to get to the table first.
These are not chemicals growers allow children to play with under the sink when parents aren’t watching. Pesticides are highly regulated, and in our ag industry, they are handled with extreme care and caution. And they are necessary to grow crops to maturity, so they can be available for you daily at your local market. Even organic produce is treated with pesticides. Without them, there wouldn’t be enough food to feed our country.
One pesticide in particular, Chlorpyrifos, has been a staple pesticide for onion growers throughout the country for decades.
Chlorpyrifos has been used worldwide since 1965. More than 4,000 regulatory and critically evaluated studies have been conducted on chlorpyrifos in 100 countries and it has been deemed safe for use. The EPA determined in 2006 that there is “reasonable certainty of no harm” from approved uses of chlorpyrifos.
But debates have raged for the last 10 years on its safety. Those debates continue today in your local legislature and through out national regulators, such as the Food and Drug Administration. America’s onions growers, and growers of 50 other crops, have been relying on Chlorpyrifos for decades. To date, there’s not just been an effective alternative created — though research on that continues.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on April 29, 2021, giving the Environmental Protection Agency 60 days to decide whether to ban chlorpyrifos. The NOA and other organizations penned a letter continuing to fight for this important pesticide.
The latest threat to pesticide-coated seeds
The Center for Food Safety has petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to create a new rule banning pesticide-coated seeds in agriculture. The National Onion Association is against this petition because it is not supported by reliable evidence, it is overreaching and it is unnecessary. Adopting it would be an incredible burden on America’s onion growers in added regulation, and it would not at all be beneficial to the environment.
Read NOA’s full comments here.
Public comments on this rule have closed, and it is now in the hands of the EPA.