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EU bans harmful pesticide chlorpyrifos

European Union (EU) member states decided on Friday, December 6, 2019 to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide deemed harmful to human health.

Spraying chlorpyrifos
Spraying chlorpyrifos

The ban is due to take effect in January, when the current approval for the insecticide expires.

In August, the European Food Safety Authority identified concerns about “possible genotoxic effects as well as neurological effects during development,” supported by data indicating effects in children.

Chlorpyrifos is used by farmers to prevent insects from damaging their produce.

Traces are often found on imported fruit such as oranges or mandarins in countries such as Germany, where the substance has been taken off the market.

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The decision was taken by a committee of experts representing EU member states.

They also decided to ban the related variety chlorpyrifos-Methyl, a European Commission spokeswoman said.

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