Regulators reverse Obama-era ban on GMOs, neonicotinoid pesticides in wildlife refuges

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Credit: City of Washougal

The Interior Department announced plans [August 3rd] to reverse a rule that banned the use of pesticides in national wildlife refuges.

The decision …. reverses an Obama-era ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides as well as genetically engineered crops within refuges where there is farming.

The announcement from Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) deputy director Greg Sheehan said the rollback is to benefit land specifically purchased to become refuges to help waterfowl and migratory bird species. Some of the land has historically been used to maintain crops to support the birds.

“Some National Wildlife Refuge Lands are no longer able to provide the amount or quality of food that they once did due to changes in cooperative food practices within the Refuge system,” Sheehan wrote. “Realizing that farming practices will continue into the foreseeable future within the NWRS …. we must ensure that we are appropriately making use of farm practice innovations as we actively manage farm areas.”

Related article:  Geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam: The biotech advocate anti-GMO groups 'love to hate'

Those innovations …. include incorporating genetically modified seeds into the farming practices.

“A blanket denial of Genetically Modified Organisms does not provide on-the-ground latitude for refuge managers to work adaptively and make field level decisions about the best manner to fulfill the purposes of the refuge,” Sheehan wrote.

Read full, original article: Trump administration reverses rule that banned pesticide use in wildlife refuges

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