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Federal appeals court blocks use of controversial pesticide on Florida citrus crops

The EPA acknowledged it did not determine how the neurotoxin would impact the state's endangered species.
Credit: Nguyen Vu Quan - stock.adobe.com

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — A federal appeals court overturned the Environmental Protection Agency's approval of a controversial pesticide that would have been used on Florida's citrus crops after the federal agency acknowledged it did not determine how the neurotoxin would impact the state's endangered species. 

The pesticide Aldicarb is banned in more than 100 countries but was approved by the EPA in January to combat the disease citrus greening, which has been damaging to Florida's prized crop. The approval caused challenges from environmental groups.

In April, Florida's Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried denied the use of aldicarb, stating that the neurotoxin posed a risk to humans and animals. In her decision, Fried also said the pesticide's manufacturer, AgLogic, did not follow state law in their application by making no determination on how it would impact endangered or threatened species.

Aldicarb is responsible for one of the largest documented cases of pesticide poisoning. In 1985, thousands of Californians became sick after eating watermelons that were contaminated with the pesticide.


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