Jul 23, 2020
More-sustainable alternatives to banned pesticide chlorpyrifos seen in report

A report issued July 16 identifies alternatives for California growers to the banned pesticide chlorpyrifos and calls for continued work towards safer, more sustainable pest management practices.

Following California’s historic decision to end use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos in 2019, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) convened the Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos Work Group to evaluate potential alternatives. The work group’s report outlines actions that can further support agriculture and the health of local communities, farmworkers and the environment.

“This report highlights current alternatives to chlorpyrifos, but it also underscores the need to continue our combined efforts to provide safer and more sustainable crop protection tools to California’s farmers,” DPR Director Val Dolcini said in a news release. “Working with community organizations, other agencies, agricultural producers, and UC scientists, we will continue our work to develop a roadmap that can be used by all Californians to manage pests more safely and sustainably.”

“Partnerships will be key as we move forward with economic recovery,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “We need collaboration to implement this ambitious roadmap and deliver innovative, pragmatic solutions to the complex array of issues farmers and the ag workforce confront every day as they strive to produce high-quality agricultural crops to meet consumer expectations.”

The report, Towards Safer and More Sustainable Alternatives to Chlorpyrifos: An Action Plan for California, identifies:

“California leads the nation in advancing more sustainable pest management practices, and this report makes clear the need to continue that important work,” said Jared Blumenfeld, California Secretary for Environmental Protection. “The Governor’s 2020-2021 Budget contains funding that will allow DPR and CDFA to continue this dialogue and build on the momentum begun by the Chlorpyrifos Alternatives Work Group.”

DPR and CDFA plan to convene a successor group this year to focus on system-wide safe, sustainable pest management practices.

The Work Group included a wide cross-section of leaders and experts – including representatives from agricultural organizations, scientists focused on pest management and public health, environmental justice groups, farmworker advocates, and pest control advisors. Over the course of five months, the group conducted three statewide public roundtable discussions and received extensive public input during.

Visit the DPR website for more information on the chlorpyrifos action.

– Kevin Hechtman, California Department of Food & Agriculture

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