Congressman Blumenauer and Conservation Groups Call for Action on Pollinator-killing Pesticides
Groups to Deliver Thousands of Comments to EPA Headquarters
WASHINGTON D.C.— Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) will join conservation groups on February 14 at noon to call on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban uses of neonicotinoid pesticides that harm pollinators. In addition, 15 environmental and conservation groups have collected thousands of public comments to the EPA at the end of the comment period, urging the agency to rein in the rampant overuse of neonicotinoid pesticides—a leading cause of pollinator population declines.
WHAT: Announcement of Saving America’s Pollinators Act and delivery of public comments calling for the ban of neonicotinoid pesticides that harm pollinators.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 14, at noon
WHERE: House Triangle, Capitol Hill
- Earl Blumenauer, United States Representative, Oregon’s 3rd District
- Elizabeth Southerland, former Director of EPA’s Office of Science and Technology. Resigned given the Trump administration’s attack on public health and safety
- Virginia Ruiz, Director of Occupational & Environmental Health, Farmworker Justice
- Genna Reed, Science and Policy Analyst, Center for Science and Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists
- Quinton Robinson, Policy Advocate, National Family Farm Coalition
- Dr. Luke Goembel, scientist and beekeeper, Central Maryland Beekeepers Association
WHO: American Bird Conservancy, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, the Center for Biological Diversity, Central Maryland Beekeepers Association, Earthjustice, Environment America, Farmworker Justice, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Moms Across America, National Family Farm Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, Organic Consumers Association, U.S. PIRG
VISUALS: posters, signs and banners
Background: Thousands of scientific studies implicate neonicotinoid pesticides, or “neonics,” as key contributors to declining pollinator populations, and a growing body of research, including research cited by the EPA in its own neonicotinoid assessments, confirms that neonicotinoid pesticides are extremely harmful to birds and aquatic life.
Last week, at the request of industry, the EPA extended a comment period on preliminary ecological and human health risk assessments for the neonicotinoids clothianidin, thiamethoxam and dinotefuran, and a preliminary ecological risk assessment for the neonicotinoid imidacloprid. The EPA found that risks posed to certain birds from eating neonic-treated seeds exceeded the agency’s level of concern—the level at which harm is known to occur—by as much as 200-fold. In addition to killing birds, a recent scientific study also found neonic pesticides significantly impair the migratory ability of seed-eating songbirds.
The EPA’s own assessment found that if neonic-treated seeds make up just one percent to six percent of a bird’s diet, serious harms could result.
Europe has instituted a temporary ban on neonicotinoids based on their harms to pollinators. Canada’s pesticide regulatory agency has recommended banning the most widely used neonicotinoid based on harms to aquatic ecosystems.
Jason Davidson, Friends of the Earth, (732) 379-2541, JDavidson@foe.org
Lori Ann Burd, Center for Biological Diversity, (971) 717-6405, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kari Birdseye, NRDC, (415) 875-8243, email@example.com