EPA announces plans to restrict bee-killing pesticides
WASHINGTON, D.C. — During the December 8 meeting of state pesticide regulators in Arlington, VA, Marietta Echeverria, branch chief with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs, announced the agency’s plan to restrict neonicotinoid pesticides — a leading driver in pollinator declines —in an effort to protect pollinators. This follows the June 2014 presidential memorandum charging the EPA with assessing the effects of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bees and other pollinators within 180 days.
In her remarks to meeting attendees, Marietta Echeverria indicated the restrictions (courtesy of Bloomberg BNA) will be mandatory and would prohibit the application of neonicotinoids during certain times of day or year, and will apply only to states that have not adopted an EPA-approved pollinator protection plan.
Friends of the Earth Food and Technology Director Lisa Archer issued the following statement in response to the announcement:
Beekeepers, farmers and our food supply have been waiting far too long for the EPA to listen to the growing body of science linking neonicotinoids pesticides to pollinator declines. It is encouraging that EPA is starting to follow the lead of Ontario and the European Union by restricting neonicotinoid pesticides.
However, as currently laid out, EPA’s restrictions do not go far enough. The weight of the science tells us that we must suspend systemic bee-killing pesticides on cosmetic and agricultural uses — including seed treatments — year round and nationwide to protect bees, our environment and our food supply.
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