Separate but similar bills in the Oregon Legislature would both ban all pesticides containing chlorpyrifos, and also reclassify neonicotinoids as restricted-use pesticides rather than general use.
The Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 853next Tuesday, March 26, at 1 p.m. Meanwhile, the House Committee on Agriculture and Land Use will hold a hearing on House Bill 3058 at 3 p.m. the same day. Similar bills often start in both chambers, allowing backers of an idea to push it forward in whatever chamber proves most favorable. The OAN is opposed to both the house and senate versions of this proposed legislation. The association has resisted efforts at the local and state levels to restrict neonics, which are considered safer than other legal alternatives when properly used.
“We’re concerned that the state would consider reclassifying a pesticide to restricted-use when the chemical is not so classified federally,” OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said. “It’s problematic to take away a tool that growers responsibly use for controlling pests.”
Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate, is widely used for control of insects and worms, but its use currently is tied up in federal courts. The Trump administration refused a request to ban it federally, but last August, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to ban its sale within 60 days. The administration appealed.
According to Oregonians for Food and Shelter, there are few if any alternatives to chlorpyrifos for controlling the pests that are unique to some crops.