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Daily News Blog

24
Jun

Ask Congress to Stop EPA Actions that Threaten Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, June 24, 2019) During “Pollinator Week,” last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency betrayed its responsibility to protect the environment and approved “emergency” uses of sulfoxaflor, a bee-toxic insecticide, in 11 states on millions of acres of crops that are attractive to bees. Sulfoxaflor is functionally identical to the neonicotinoid class of systemic pesticides, which are readily absorbed and translocated into the plant tissues, including its pollen and nectar. These insecticides are substantial contributors to the dramatic decline of pollinators and what is now recognized as a global insect apocalypse.

Ask Your Elected Members of Congress to Tell EPA that Its Actions Are Unacceptable and Must Be Reversed

In 2015, beekeepers sued to suspend the use of sulfoxaflor. A year later, in 2016, the chemical’s registration was amended with the specific exclusion of crops such as cotton and sorghum that attract bees, essentially acting as an aromatic draw to poison. However, EPA regularly utilizes the “emergency exemption” rule under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to circumvent these restrictions.

The Center for Biological Diversity reports, “Ten of the 11 states have been granted the approvals for at least four consecutive years for the same ’emergency.’ Five have been given approvals for at least six consecutive years.”

The EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has recognized the broad misuse of Section 18. A 2018 report from OIG notes that EPA “does not have outcome measures in place to determine how well the emergency exemption process maintains human health and environmental safeguards.” Section 18 is intended to be utilized for unanticipated, urgent, and short-lived pest situations. Instead, it is harnessed as an effective, chronic workaround to introduce a pesticide on the market without FIFRA registration and appropriate restrictions on use.

Ask Your Elected Members of Congress to Tell EPA that Its Actions Are Unacceptable and Must Be Reversed

We cannot allow those we elect to Congress to remain silent as the crisis of the “insect apocalypse” advances at an escalating rate.

Letter to Congress

As our nation last week recognized “Pollinator Week”—a collective effort to focus on creatures vital to our environment and food systems—EPA was approving the use of the systemic pollinator poison sulfoxaflor that the court had previously decided was too dangerous for bees. I ask you to tell EPA that its decision to allow the “emergency use” of bee-toxic pesticides is unacceptable and contributes to the escalating insect apocalypse, as documented in the scientific literature. The EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has recognized the broad misuse of Section 18. A 2018 report from OIG notes that EPA “does not have outcome measures in place to determine how well the emergency exemption process maintains human health and environmental safeguards.” Section 18 is intended to be utilized for unanticipated, urgent, and short-lived pest situations. Instead, it is harnessed as an effective, chronic workaround to introduce a pesticide on the market without FIFRA registration and appropriate restrictions on use.

Thus, it is not surprising that, as reported by the Center for Biological Diversity, “Ten of the 11 states have been granted the approvals for at least four consecutive years for the same ‘emergency.’ Five have been given approvals for at least six consecutive years.”

Congressional oversight is needed to ensure that EPA fulfills its responsibility to completely review the health and environmental impacts of pesticides before allowing them to be used.

Please tell EPA that its decision to allow the “emergency use” of bee-toxic pesticides is unacceptable and must be rescinded.

Thank you.

 

 

 

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3 Responses to “Ask Congress to Stop EPA Actions that Threaten Bees”

  1. 1
    Carol Garde Says:

    What will we do when we’ve destroyed the pollinators? It is past time to take this seriously. The “emergency” use of bee-toxic pesticides will result in harsh consequences. I urge you to protect pollinators. We cannot do without them.

  2. 2
    Brenda Gaines Says:

    Stop poisoning bees.

  3. 3
    Robert Thomson Says:

    DO YOUR JOB!

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  • Archives

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