Environmental Protection Agency Denies Petition to Regulate Neonic-Treated Seeds

A streaked bird in grass feeds its young.
Grassland birds like Bobolinks have skilled sharp declines. Photograph by way of Jackie Elmore/Macaulay Library.

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.

Be told extra about how neonictinoid use impacts pollinators. Video from Past Insecticides a nonprofit group that’s not affiliated with teh Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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.

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Eric Adjei

I love animals and am glad to share fun facts and stories about our four-legged and feathery friends, etc. I also try to teach people how to take good care of their pets, to create the best environment for them in the family.

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