United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero and UFW Foundation Executive Director Diana Tellefson Torres issued the following statement following the Newsom administration’s announcement of a settlement agreement with manufacturers to eliminate use of chlorpyrifos by the end of 2020.
This is a first good step. It ensures that after December 2020 and during the Newsom administration, the dangerous, brain-damaging chemical chlorpyrifos will not be used in California. We look forward to working with Governor Newsom to turn it into a permanent ban.
Credit goes to state Senator Maria Elena Durazo for introducing and pushing her bills, SB 458 and SB 86, this year to statutorily ban chlorpyrifos. We also acknowledge the Kern County farm workers who were recent victims of a mass field poisoning incident when they were sprayed by chlorpyrifos and who journeyed to the state Capitol on behalf of the Durazo measure. And we thank Earthjustice, which co-sponsored the Durazo bill with the UFW and represents the union in federal litigation against Trump’s EPA involving chlorpyrifos.
We will continue working with farm workers and our partners at Earthjustice to understand the risks that remain from granular products that will not be banned through this settlement and cancellation process.
Let us also remember Cesar Chavez’s last, and longest, public fast of 36 days in 1988 in Delano over the pesticide poisoning of farm workers and their children.