Environmental Protection Agency Denies Petition to Regulate Neonic-Treated Seeds
From the Wintry weather 2023 factor of Dwelling Bird mag. Subscribe now.
In September the U.S. Environmental Coverage Company denied a petition searching for to take away pesticide-coated seeds from the company’s “handled article exemption.” The exemption method pesticide-coated seeds aren’t regulated as a pesticide by way of the EPA.
A coalition led by way of the Middle for Meals Protection—and together with American Bird Conservancy, Pesticide Motion Community, and different beekeeping and pollinator teams—filed the petition asking EPA to finish a regulatory loophollow for seeds handled with a coating of systemic insecticides (comparable to neonicotinoids). The petition requested the company to observe and keep an eye on pesticide-coated seeds simply as it might insecticides implemented on crops or in fields.
A reaction to the petition from Edward Messina, EPA Place of work of Pesticide Methods director, mentioned that EPA will “evaluate labeling directions for insecticides registered for seed remedy use(s)” and “search additional info on pesticide seed remedy,” in addition to discover the long run possibility of regulating using pesticide-treated seed. Rather than that, Messina wrote that EPA won’t exchange its present observe.
Seed coatings are the main approach neonicotinoid insecticides are utilized in farm fields. Neonics were documented to have direct results on birds, comparable to interfering with metabolism, migration, and replica, in addition to oblique results, comparable to miserable insect prey populations. A find out about conducted by way of scientists from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Auburn College discovered proof of sped up declines of grassland birds in counties with prime neonicotinoid use (see “Neonic Country: Is Well-liked Pesticide Use Hooked up To Grassland Bird Declines? Summer season 2022).
“The EPA’s determination nowadays to disclaim the petition request to exclude pesticide-coated seeds from the handled article exemption represents a blow to grassland and insect-eating birds,” mentioned Hardy Kern, director of the American Bird Conservancy Insecticides and Birds Marketing campaign. “The U.S. and Canada have just about 3 billion fewer birds than in 1970, partially because of pesticide-caused prey loss and poisoning. It is a misplaced alternative to mitigate those threats.”
An EPA spokesperson contacted for this tale mentioned the company had no additional remark about its determination.