MEDIA

Press Release
19 August 2021
Contact: Pablo Stein pstein@lclaa.org
202-508-6919

Chlorpyrifos Ban is a Historic Victory for Latino Workers

Washington D.C.- Yesterday marked a historic turning point in a lucha that LCLAA and our allies have been fighting for decades. That’s because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a total ban on agricultural applications of the highly toxic chemical Chlorpyrifos. Prior to yesterday’s ruling, this dangerous nerve agent was widely used as a pesticide on fruits and vegetables across the country, despite scientific consensus that it causes brain damage, birth defects, and developmental complications in children.

In the words of National Secretary Treasurer Evelyn DeJesus, “ridding our fields of this poison is an immense victory for Latino workers, many of whom were forced to handle Chlorpyrifos on a regular basis to maintain their livelihood. It is also a victory for our families and communities, who often suffered from the toxic residues clinging to the clothes of farmworkers or from the toxic fumes wafting from the fields into neighborhoods, schoolyards, and parks.” And as National President Yanira Merino highlighted, “no longer will Latino workers have to face lifelong health complications in return for putting food on the table of our nation, especially in times of need, as we have during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a win for our communities and workers across the country.”

Our advocacy played a key role in achieving this long overdue safeguard for workplace and public safety. When the Trump administration ignored the government’s own recommendations to phase out Chlorpyrifos, we continued fighting in the courts with our partners at Earthjustice. And when the Trump administration EPA refused to ban the pesticide in what a federal judge later called an evasion of its “plain statutory duties,” we did not back down. That is why our executive board met with EPA Assistant Administrator Michal Freedhoff at our recent national convention to emphasize the agency’s duty to ban Chlorpyrifos and protect Latino workers and communities. We invite you to learn more about Earthjustice, whose leadership on this fight made this victory possible, by clicking here.

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The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is the leading national organization for Latino(a) workers and their families. LCLAA was born in 1972 out of the need to educate, organize and mobilize Latinos in the labor movement and has expanded its influence to organize Latinos in an effort to impact workers’ rights and their influence in the political process. LCLAA represents the interest of more than 2 million Latino workers in the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), The Change to Win Federation, Independent Unions and all its membership. Visit LCLAA on the web at www.lclaa.org, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram