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Environmental Safety Company Denies Petition to Regulate Neonic-Handled Seeds


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

    From the Winter 2023 difficulty of Residing Hen journal. Subscribe now.

    In September the U.S. Environmental Safety Company denied a petition looking for to take away pesticide-coated seeds from the company’s “handled article exemption.” The exemption means pes­ticide-coated seeds aren’t regulated as a pesticide by the EPA.

    A coalition led by the Middle for Meals Security—and together with American Hen Conservancy, Pesticide Motion Community, and different beekeeping and pollinator teams—filed the petition asking EPA to finish a regulatory loop­gap for seeds handled with a coating of systemic pesticides (reminiscent of neonicoti­noids). The petition requested the company to observe and regulate pesticide-coated seeds simply as it will pesticides utilized on vegetation or in fields.

    Study extra about how neonictinoid use impacts pollinators. Video from Past Pesticides a nonprofit group that isn’t affiliated with teh Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

    A response to the petition from Edward Messina, EPA Workplace of Pesti­cide Packages director, said that EPA will “evaluate labeling directions for pesticides registered for seed therapy use(s)” and “search extra info on pesticide seed therapy,” in addition to discover the long run possibility of regulating using pesticide-treated seed. Apart from that, Messina wrote that EPA is not going to change its present observe.  

    Seed coatings are the first method neonicotinoid pesticides are utilized in farm fields. Neonics have been docu­mented to have direct results on birds, reminiscent of interfering with metabolism, migration, and copy, in addition to oblique results, reminiscent of miserable insect prey populations. A research con­ducted by scientists from the Univer­sity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Auburn College discovered proof of accelerated declines of grassland birds in counties with excessive neonicotinoid use (see “Neonic Nation: Is Widespread Pesticide Use Linked To Grassland Hen Declines? Summer time 2022).

    “The EPA’s choice at this time 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 Hen Conservancy Pesticides and Birds Marketing campaign. “The U.S. and Canada have practically 3 billion fewer birds than in 1970, partly on account of pesticide-caused prey loss and poisoning. This can be a misplaced alternative to mitigate these threats.”  

    An EPA spokesperson contacted for this story mentioned the company had no additional remark about its choice.