Can EPA ‘restore science and common sense’ to neonicotinoid insecticide regulations?

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[A] federal district court judge has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to consult with the FWS before approving 59 products containing neonicotinoid pesticides that are used primarily as seed coatings for corn, canola, cotton, potato, sugar beet and other crops.

Extensive studies have concluded that the actual cause of bee die-offs and “colony collapse disorders” has been a toxic mix of tiny pests (parasitic Varroa destructor mites, phorid flies, Nosema ceranae gut fungus, tobacco ringspot virus and deformed wing virus) – as well as chemicals used by beekeepers trying to control these beehive infestations.

Field studies involving crops where bees forage for pollen have consistently found no observable adverse effects on honeybees resulting from exposures to properly applied neonic seed coatings.

[The EPA] must assess not just the alleged risks of using neonics, but also the risks of not using them, risks associated with having to use other classes of pesticides, and risks that could be reduced or eliminated by using modern neonic seed coatings. They should focus on replicable, evidence-based, field-tested science, not laboratory studies; balance agricultural, consumer and environmental needs; and consider bees in the context of how we protect (or don’t protect) other valuable wildlife species.

These steps would help restore science and common sense to policy and regulatory processes – and serve as a foundation for adjusting the Endangered Species Act to minimize regulatory and litigation excesses.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Nipping a Legal Problem in the Bud