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US Court Orders Trump EPA to Pull Pesticide

FILE - Pinot noir grapes have just been picked in a bin in Napa, Calif., Aug. 29, 2014. Farmers use chlorpyrifos to kill pests that attack many crops like grapes, almonds and cotton.

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration endangered public health when it overturned an Obama-era rule banning a dangerous pesticide.

In a 2-to-1 decision, the Seattle-based court gave the Environmental Protection Agency 60 days to pull chlorpyrifos from the market, one of the most widely used pesticides in the country.

The judges said the administration was unjustified in overturning the ban and ignored the science proving that residue of it on food is linked to brain damage in babies.

Former EPA chief Scott Pruitt reversed the Obama decision to extend an earlier ban on the product from general household use to its use on food.

Pruitt called it a return to “sound science” and a move away from “predetermined results.”

Dow Chemical, which manufactures chlorpyrifos, has in the past defended the pesticide as a product helping farmers feed the world while respecting “human health and the environment.”

“The court has made it clear that children’s health must come before powerful polluters,” the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Erik Olson said Thursday. “This is a victory for parents everywhere who want to feed their kids fruits and vegetables without fear it is harming their brains or poisoning communities.”