In several European countries, pregnant women risk consuming food contaminated with the pesticide chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxin that could be harmful to the foetus, according to Human Rights Watch.
Last month, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said that the pesticide does not meet safety criteria for renewed approval by the European Union. The agency joins eight EU member states and a growing number of children’s rights and environmental advocacy groups around the world pushing back against the use of this dangerous chemical.
Chlorpyrifos, a pesticide commonly used on food crops, has links to neurotoxic health issues. The pesticide belongs to a class of chemicals called organophosphates – a group of compounds that alter the structure and function of the human nervous system. Scientists have coupled chlorpyrifos exposure with neuro-developmental challenges, as well as an array of symptoms including dizziness, confusion, respiratory paralysis, and even death. Many of these outcomes are particularly hazardous to children.
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