Farm groups challenge petition for tighter EPA insecticide rules, saying restrictions could hamper sound conservation

| | April 4, 2019
Seeds coated with neonicotinoids. Image: ACSESS Digital Library
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Nearly 100 organizations recently submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency encouraging the agency to reject a petition related to seeds treated with systemic insecticides. The petition from the Center for Food Safety claims that EPA has improperly applied the treated article exemption by exempting seeds from additional registration and labeling requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Specifically, the American Soybean Assn. (ASA) urged EPA to stand by its own scientific and risk-based review of products such as treated seeds and reject any attempts to create unnecessary duplication of registration. In a letter to Office of Pesticides director Richard Keigwin, ASA stated that changes to this process could put an additional burden on soybean growers ….“which, in turn, could reduce the adoption of reduced tillage practices and cover cropping that benefit the environment.”

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One example of a common use of seed treatments among soybean producers is the neonicotinoids class of insecticides, which protect vulnerable soybean seedlings from insects in the soil that could destroy the crop before it ever matures. The use of these seed treatments can aid in sound conservation techniques, the letter explained.

Read full, original article: EPA urged to deny rule-making on insecticide-treated seeds

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