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Environment

Coalition Sues EPA Over Four Pesticides

April 14, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 15

A coalition of farmworker advocates and environmental activists has filed a lawsuit against EPA that seeks to halt the use of four organophosphate pesticides. The compounds—methidathion, ethoprop, methamidophos, and oxydemeton-methyl—have put thousands of farmworkers and families at risk of serious illnesses, including cancer and reproductive deformities, allege attorneys for Earthjustice, an environmental law firm representing the plaintiffs. The organophosphates are used primarily in California on a wide variety of fruit, vegetable, and nut crops. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, in San Francisco, alleges that in allowing the pesticides to remain on the market, EPA has failed to satisfy its legal obligation to ensure that the chemicals will not have "unreasonable adverse effects" on farmworkers, children, and the environment. An EPA spokesman says the agency is reviewing the issues raised by the litigation and will decide on a course of action at the appropriate time.

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