As more states try to ban chlorpyrifos insecticides, small chemical firms boost production to meet farmer demand


Smaller players in the pesticide industry are angling to take advantage of a new and perhaps finite window to sell the insecticide chlorpyrifos, even after the EU banned it and a growing number of states have moved to regulate it out of existence.

Corteva Agriscience, the world’s largest manufacturer of chlorpyrifos, announced [in February] that it would stop making the chemical by the end of the [2020], citing declining sales.

And chlorpyrifos—which has been linked to brain damage in humans, especially infants—is the target of a multistate lawsuit and legislation in five states to ban the pesticide. New York, California, and Hawaii have already passed laws to prohibit its use or sale  …. But despite the headwinds, chlorpyrifos …. remains in use in most states.

Related article:  Thailand bans glyphosate weed killer as Roundup-cancer legal debate rages in US, Europe

[Editor’s note: Read Was the EPA right not to ban the crop pesticide chlorpyrifos? to learn more.]

“If Corteva isn’t able to meet the demands of the marketplace, we are well prepared to step in,” said Ram Seethapathi, president of Gharda Chemicals International Inc., a subsidiary of India-based Gharda Chemicals Ltd.

In 1997, the chemical family called organophosphates, which includes chlorpyrifos, represented 40% of the global pesticide market. Today it’s just 5%, according to Corteva.

But some farmers say they still prefer chlorpyrifos over the newer insecticides, which may not work as well against certain pests.

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