[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (604)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (41)
    • Antimicrobial (18)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (37)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (52)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (34)
    • Biomonitoring (40)
    • Birds (26)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Cannabis (30)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (10)
    • Chemical Mixtures (8)
    • Children (113)
    • Children/Schools (240)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (30)
    • Climate Change (86)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (6)
    • Congress (20)
    • contamination (155)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • diamides (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (19)
    • Drift (17)
    • Drinking Water (16)
    • Ecosystem Services (15)
    • Emergency Exemption (3)
    • Environmental Justice (167)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (535)
    • Events (89)
    • Farm Bill (24)
    • Farmworkers (198)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (6)
    • Fungicides (26)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (16)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (43)
    • Holidays (39)
    • Household Use (9)
    • Indigenous People (6)
    • Indoor Air Quality (6)
    • Infectious Disease (4)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (71)
    • Invasive Species (35)
    • Label Claims (49)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (251)
    • Litigation (344)
    • Livestock (9)
    • men’s health (4)
    • metabolic syndrome (3)
    • Metabolites (4)
    • Microbiata (22)
    • Microbiome (28)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (16)
    • Oceans (11)
    • Office of Inspector General (4)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (163)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (10)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (14)
    • Pesticide Regulation (783)
    • Pesticide Residues (185)
    • Pets (36)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (2)
    • Plastic (8)
    • Poisoning (20)
    • Preemption (45)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Reflection (1)
    • Repellent (4)
    • Resistance (119)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (33)
    • Seasonal (3)
    • Seeds (6)
    • soil health (17)
    • Superfund (5)
    • synergistic effects (23)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (16)
    • Synthetic Turf (3)
    • Take Action (596)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (12)
    • U.S. Supreme Court (1)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Women’s Health (26)
    • Wood Preservatives (36)
    • World Health Organization (11)
    • Year in Review (2)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

07
Feb

Pesticide Reform Bill Reintroduced in U.S. Senate, Advocates Call Changes Major But Not Systemic Ones Needed

(Beyond Pesticides, February 7, 2023) U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) reintroduced legislation last week to increase protections against exposure to toxic pesticides. The Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act of 2023 (PACTPA), S.269, addresses many of the controversial issues with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which governs the registration and use of pesticides in the U.S. This major reform legislation tackles some of the documented deficiencies in the regulation of pesticides and removes a number of loopholes in the law. The legislation, introduced with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Brian Schatz (D-HI), also includes a ban on all organophosphate and neonicotinoid insecticides, as well as  the weed killer paraquat, which is known to cause Parkinson’s disease and lung fibrosis. Despite these reform provisions, the legislation does not touch the core of FIFRA’s pesticide registration process and chart a path for the systemic, transformative change that Beyond Pesticides says is essential to meet the existential challenges of current times—devastating health threats, biodiversity collapse, and the climate crisis.

FIFRA, which is under the jurisdiction of the agriculture committees of Congress, has long been criticized for failing to protect the public and workers because of a host of problems that are viewed as untouchable in Congress: a failed risk assessment and risk mitigation process; lack of pesticide essentiality reviews in light of the availability of nontoxic and organic alternatives; incomplete U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviews that do not consider a wide range of public health diseases caused by pesticides and synergistic effects from multiple chemical exposures; incomplete ecological assessments and protection of threatened and endangered species; and, disproportionate harm to people of color, those with pre-existing health conditions, and workers with cumulative exposure to pesticides in their workplace, community, and home. Beyond Pesticides is calling for a 10-year phase out of petrochemical pesticides and the national transition to organic land management and pest preventive building management practices.

PACTPA proposes important changes to FIFRA to better protect frontline farmworkers, children and agricultural communities from harmful, potentially lethal, pesticide exposure.

“We work with farmworkers who are afraid to report exposure incidents due to fear of retaliation, and more often pesticide handlers aren’t receiving training on just how dangerous their mixing and spraying jobs are,” said Jeannie Economos, coordinator of the Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project for the Farmworker Association of Florida.

The bill would also ensure that state and local governments retain the authority to implement stronger measures to protect against pesticide exposure, including phase-outs and bans. This is crucial because each year the United States uses over one billion pounds of pesticides — nearly one-fifth of worldwide use.

Once they are approved, pesticides often remain on the market for decades, even when scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows a pesticide is causing harm to people or the environment. Approximately one-third of annual U.S. pesticide use — over 300 million pounds from 85 different pesticides — comes from pesticides that are banned in the European Union.

“This legislation upholds the basic democratic right of communities to adopt safety standards that are more protective than federal or state law,” said Drew Toher, community resource and policy director at Beyond Pesticides.

Specifically, PACTPA would provide some critically-needed improvements to FIFRA to better protect people and the environment, including:

Bans some of the most damaging pesticides scientifically known to cause significant harm to people and the environment:

  • Organophosphate insecticides, which are designed to target the neurological system and have been linked to neurodevelopmental damage in children;
  • Neonicotinoid insecticides, which have contributed to pollinator collapse around the world (the European Union and Canada have significantly restricted or banned their use to protect pollinators and other wildlife) and have recently been shown to cause developmental defects, heart deformations, and muscle tremors in unborn children;
  • Paraquat, which is one of the most acutely toxic herbicides in the world —according to the EPA, just “one sip can kill.” Science has shown that chronic exposure to paraquat increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 200% to 600%. It is already banned in 32 countries, including the European Union.

“Science has shown that exposure to paraquat increases risk for Parkinson’s disease,” said Ted Thompson, senior vice president for public policy at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. “In addition to this human toll, allowing this chemical to remain on the market carries with it a serious financial cost to the federal government and American families. The United States is long overdue in banning paraquat, and this bill brings about necessary reform.”

“Keeping paraquat on the market is endangering human health and sending the wrong message to farmers that need support for developing new strategies for weed management,” said Christina Stucker-Gassi, healthy food and farms manager at the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides.

Restores balance to protect ordinary citizens by removing dangerous pesticides from the market by:

    • Creating a petition process to enable individual citizens to petition the EPA to identify dangerous pesticides so that the EPA would no longer be able to indefinitely allow dangerous pesticides to remain on the market;
    • Closing dangerous loopholes that have allowed the EPA to issue emergency exemptions and conditional registrations to use pesticides before they have gone through full health and safety review by the agency;
    • Enabling local communities to enact protective legislation and other policies without being vetoed or preempted by state law;
    • Suspending the use of pesticides deemed unsafe by the E.U. or Canada until they are thoroughly reviewed by the EPA.

      Provides protections for frontline communities that bear the burden of pesticide exposure by:

    • Requiring employers of farmworkers to report all pesticide-caused injuries to the EPA, with strong penalties for failure to report injuries or retaliating against workers;
    • Directing the EPA to review pesticide injury reports and work with the pesticide manufacturers to develop better labeling to prevent future injury;
    • Requiring that all pesticide label instructions be written in Spanish and in any language spoken by more than 500 pesticide applicators.

“America’s farmworkers and children are being sickened by dangerous pesticides, including many banned in other countries,” said J.W. Glass, an EPA policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Sen. Booker’s bill proposes common-sense solutions that target the most harmful pesticides and close egregious loopholes in pesticide law. They’ll ensure people’s health comes before the pesticide industry’s greed.”

“PACTPA represents a tremendous step toward fixing our broken pesticides laws and better protecting people and pollinators from toxic chemicals,” said Jason Davidson, senior food and agriculture campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “Congress must finally address egregious loopholes that have allowed dangerous pesticides to poison our communities and environment.”

In the context of  systemic, transformative change and in order to eliminate this toxic core, Congress must:

  • Prohibit the registration and use of pesticides that do not meet these criteria:
    • Necessary to prevent harm to humans and the environment based on an analysis of all alternatives;
    • Cause no harm to humans and the environment; and
    • Protect against the existential crises of biodiversity collapse, runaway climate change, and chronic and acute health threats.
  • Require all supporting data to be submitted and examined by the public before registration (including the elimination of conditional registration).
  • Deny and cancel all pesticide registrations not supported by studies demonstrating a lack of endocrine-disrupting effects.
  • Deny and cancel registrations of all pesticides posing a threat to life in the soil—and hence threatening the climate.
  • Deny and cancel registrations of all pesticides posing a threat to any endangered species.

At a time of increasing public health threats, biodiversity collapse, and climate crisis, it is critical to advance legislation that is truly protective of health and the environment. As the widespread success of natural, organic land care practices has shown, toxic pesticides are not needed to maintain agricultural productivity, beautiful landscapes, or quality of life.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Senator Booker Press Release; Endorsements; Center for Biological Diversity press release

Share

One Response to “Pesticide Reform Bill Reintroduced in U.S. Senate, Advocates Call Changes Major But Not Systemic Ones Needed”

  1. 1
    Alice Jena Says:

    Pesticides are not needed

Leave a Reply

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (604)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (41)
    • Antimicrobial (18)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (37)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (52)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (34)
    • Biomonitoring (40)
    • Birds (26)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Cannabis (30)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (10)
    • Chemical Mixtures (8)
    • Children (113)
    • Children/Schools (240)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (30)
    • Climate Change (86)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (6)
    • Congress (20)
    • contamination (155)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • diamides (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (19)
    • Drift (17)
    • Drinking Water (16)
    • Ecosystem Services (15)
    • Emergency Exemption (3)
    • Environmental Justice (167)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (535)
    • Events (89)
    • Farm Bill (24)
    • Farmworkers (198)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (6)
    • Fungicides (26)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (16)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (43)
    • Holidays (39)
    • Household Use (9)
    • Indigenous People (6)
    • Indoor Air Quality (6)
    • Infectious Disease (4)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (71)
    • Invasive Species (35)
    • Label Claims (49)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (251)
    • Litigation (344)
    • Livestock (9)
    • men’s health (4)
    • metabolic syndrome (3)
    • Metabolites (4)
    • Microbiata (22)
    • Microbiome (28)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (16)
    • Oceans (11)
    • Office of Inspector General (4)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (163)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (10)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (14)
    • Pesticide Regulation (783)
    • Pesticide Residues (185)
    • Pets (36)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (2)
    • Plastic (8)
    • Poisoning (20)
    • Preemption (45)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Reflection (1)
    • Repellent (4)
    • Resistance (119)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (33)
    • Seasonal (3)
    • Seeds (6)
    • soil health (17)
    • Superfund (5)
    • synergistic effects (23)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (16)
    • Synthetic Turf (3)
    • Take Action (596)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (12)
    • U.S. Supreme Court (1)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Women’s Health (26)
    • Wood Preservatives (36)
    • World Health Organization (11)
    • Year in Review (2)
  • Most Viewed Posts