- The Plate
Fate of Farm Pesticide Rule Far From Settled
While farmworkers seek greater protection from toxic chemicals, agriculture organizations say the federal government is overreaching.
It might not seem controversial to require regular certification for handling highly toxic chemicals, or to restrict their usage to workers over 18 years. But proposed changes to federal pesticide rules with those provisions, which generated hundreds of public comments over the last two years are largely opposed.
In late 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed changes to existing rules that protect farm workers who are certified to apply “restricted use pesticides,” or RUPs for short. These are chemicals so dangerous that they aren’t sold to the general public and require training for safe use.
Among the proposed provisions are setting a federal minimum age for working with RUPs of 18, rather than 16 or 17, as is the case