EPA finds neonic seed treatments safe for most crops, but questions remain about cotton, citrus

Screen Shot at AM
Photo by Ellen Levy Finch

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

The Environmental Protection Agency, which I have described elsewhere as “the worst regulatory agency in the history of the world,” sometimes does get things right. Well, sort of right.

That’s what happened earlier this year when it issued its “preliminary assessment” of imidacloprid, the first commercially available, widely used neonicotinoid pesticide (“neonic,” for short).

Neonics—90% of which are applied as seed-treatments. . .—are taken up into the plant so that they target only the pests that feed on the crop, minimizing exposure to humans, animals, and beneficial insects. . . .

. . . .

Uncharacteristically, EPA’s imidacloprid assessment reached conclusions that were good news for farmers and the agriculture sector—and devastating to many activists. . . .

Three significant conclusions in the EPA’s assessment will be a boon to America’s farmers. First, it exonerated imidacloprid seed treatments from posing a risk to honeybees. The tiny residues detectable in the pollen and nectar that are found in treated crops are too small to do significant harm to the bees. . . .

Related article:  'Neonics not key driver of bee deaths'--USDA study clashes with White House considering restrictions on pesticide

Second, the EPA determined that there was a “No Observable Adverse Effects Level” (NOAEL) for honeybee exposure to imidacloprid of 25 parts per billion (ppb). . . . This finding is significant because neonic residue levels in nectar and pollen for imidacloprid seed-treated crops typically fall in single digits of ppb. . . .

Third, the EPA’s assessment found that neonic residue levels in corn, the largest U.S. crop and biggest neonic user, posed no problem for bees. . . .

But the EPA’s assessment wasn’t so favorable (or accurate) for two other crops. . . . In reaching its conclusions about cotton and citrus—two crops for which neonics are considered essential—the EPA ignored persuasive scientific evidence to the contrary.

Read full, original post: The EPA Bows To Activists

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend