• Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Why California Must End Herbicide Use Linked to Cancer, Parkinson’s | Guest comment | Guest

No poison is a better example of the chemical industry’s ironclad control of US pesticide regulation than the continued use of paraquat.

The toxic herbicide has been banned in 58 countries for its well-documented links to Parkinson’s disease, cancer and reproductive health. But in the US last year, the Environmental Protection Agency allowed paraquat to be used for another 15 years and sanctioned more than 10 million pounds of annual use on crops like citrus, almonds, artichokes, garlic, pears, strawberries and grapes.

Nowhere are the harms of paraquat more worrisome than in California, where farmers used more than 1.3 million pounds of the pesticide in 2018, with over three-quarters being used in eight San Joaquin Valley counties alone.

Jonathan Evans is the Legal Director of Environmental Health for the Center for Biological Diversity. JW Glass is the EPA Policy Specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity.