WASHINGTON – The highly toxic pesticide aldicarb can no longer be used on citrus crops in Florida after the state denied an application by AgLogic Chemical LLC today, citing “an unacceptable risk to human, animal, and environmental health.”
Aldicarb is a known neurotoxin that can impair normal brain development in young children. Harms to people are similar to those seen in wildlife, where exposure can cause developmental defects, dizziness and blurred vision, abdominal pain and vomiting.
In March, the Environmental Working Group, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Farmworker Association of Florida sued the Environmental Protection Agency over its decision in the waning days of the Trump administration to reapprove the use of aldicarb on conventional citrus crops in Florida.
Here are statements from EWG and the Center for Biological Diversity applauding the decision by Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
Alexis Temkin, EWG toxicologist:
Aldicarb was previously phased out because of dietary risks to children from citrus, and this decision will further protect children’s health. It also means farmworkers, their families and wildlife in Florida will not be exposed to this extremely toxic pesticide. It is now up to the EPA to reinstate the previous restrictions, which were rolled back during the Trump administration, to ensure that aldicarb is never again allowed to be sprayed on citrus crops. The risks to human health and the environment far outweigh any perceived benefits to conventional citrus operations.
Dr. Nathan Donley, senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity:
The science is clear: There is simply no way aldicarb can be used without putting small children, farmworkers or imperiled wildlife at risk. Even extremely low doses in water or on food can have dangerous impacts on brain development in young children. In a state fully dependent on its groundwater, the last thing Floridians need is a chemical like aldicarb that is known to readily leach through soils into drinking water supplies and persist for years.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.