Before the Environmental Protection Agency issued its March 29 decision to reverse a proposed ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos, the agency considered information from industry groups that wanted to keep it on the market, according to internal agency documents. But the heavily redacted documents may be most notable for what they do not include.
The Intercept obtained internal emails, reports, and memos via a Freedom of Information Act request for materials used to brief EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on chlorpyrifos.
Although the documents reflect several direct communications between the EPA, big agricultural groups, and, in one instance, Donald Trump, they included no evidence that the agency met with environmental or public health groups or weighed concerns about the pesticide's damaging effects. There was also no substantive discussion of the many studies detailing health effects. The story that emerges from the documents is a simple one of agricultural industry lobbying and, after its success, celebration.
As the EPA mulled whether to reverse a proposed ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos, industry input was prioritized.