Trust the science and play by the rules.

It’s that simple.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should remember these two principles as it thinks about a crop-protection technology that helps farmers keep bugs away from almonds, peanuts, apples, oranges, cotton and more.

Activist groups have now targeted chlorpyrifos, used around the world to control pests and one of the most widely used insecticides in the United States. They want the EPA to ban it. Their scheme requires regulators to ignore those guiding values: Trust the science and play by the rules.

I once used chlorpyrifos on my farm to fight corn rootworm. With the advent of GMO corn, my crops have gained a natural and effective ability to defeat these pests — and so I stopped using this insecticide years ago. Most crops, however, don’t come ...