MOVING POLICY MAKERS TO PROTECT POLLINATORS AND PEOPLE FROM TOXIC PESTICIDES

Pesticide Policy Advocacy

We need policy makers to put the health of people and pollinators above the profits of the pesticide industry.

While we work to leverage the economic power of companies in the marketplace, Friends of the Earth is also working to pass strong policies to protect pollinators and people, reduce use of toxic pesticides and rapidly transition to a healthy, just and sustainable food system.

Federal pesticide policy is failing to protect our health and environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows the use of many hazardous pesticides banned in other countries thanks to regulatory loopholes and the lobbying power of the pesticide industry. After a spate of mega-mergers, the three largest pesticide companies — Bayer-Monsanto, Dow-Dupont and Syngenta-ChemChina — now control over 65 percent of the global pesticide market and 61 percent of commercial seed sales.

Our federal food and agriculture policies subsidize and incentivize pesticide-intensive, industrial agriculture to the tune of billions of dollars. Meanwhile, organic and regenerative agriculture are woefully underfunded. Less than 1% of federal agricultural research dollars support ecological farming research, for example. This corporate control of our food system also threatens the health and safety of our nation’s farm workers. EPA has continuously proposed rollbacks of regulations that protect farm workers from pesticides.

For a summary of international policy leadership on key pesticides of concern — neonicotinoids, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos — click here.

Victories

Friends of the Earth has played a pivotal role in passing groundbreaking policies from the local to federal level to restrict use of toxic pesticides and advance organic and regenerative agriculture. These campaigns build grassroots power, and state and local victories put pressure on Congress to meet the standards of leading states. These include:

  • Neonicotinoid consumer bans and restrictions in Maryland, Connecticut, Minnesota and Vermont.
  • Neonicotinoid restrictions in more than 115 U.S. cities and universities.
  • Chlorpyrifos bans in California, Hawaii, New York and Maryland.
  • Protection of the integrity of the national organic standards.

Policy action

Friends of the Earth is working to pass policies to ban or restrict toxic pesticides, protect farm workers and other frontline communities, and advance organic and regenerative agriculture. We regularly organize lobby days, sign-on letters and engage tens of thousands of advocates in grassroots actions to support these efforts. 

  • National Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act
  • National Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act  
  • National Saving America’s Pollinators Act   
  • National Save Our Refuges Act  
  • National Ban Toxic Pesticides Act 
  • National Keep Food Safe From Glyphosate Act