Many pesticides that have been banned or are being phased out in the EU, Brazil and China, are still widely used in the USA, according to a study published in the open access journal Environmental Health.

Study author Nathan Donley at the Center for Biological Diversity, USA said: “The USA is generally regarded as being highly regulated and having protective pesticide safeguards in place. This study contradicts that narrative and finds that in fact, in the last couple of decades, nearly all pesticide cancellations in the USA have been done voluntarily by the pesticide industry. Without a change in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s current reliance on voluntary mechanisms for cancellations, the USA will likely continue to lag behind its peers in banning harmful pesticides.”

Donley identified pesticides that are approved for outdoor agricultural use in the USA and compared them to pesticides approved in the EU, China and Brazil. The researcher found that 72, 17 and 11 pesticides are approved for use in the USA which are banned or in the process of being phased out in the EU, Brazil and China, respectively. In addition, Donley identified 85, 13 and two pesticides as being approved in the USA but banned or in the process of being phased out in at least one of the three, two of the three, or all three other agricultural nations, respectively.

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