The EPA has developed new pesticide labels that prohibit use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present.
“Multiple factors play a role in bee colony declines, including pesticides. The Environmental Protection Agency is taking action to protect bees from pesticide exposure and these label changes will further our efforts,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
The new labels will have a bee advisory box and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions. The label change affects products containing the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. The EPA will work with pesticide manufacturers to change labels so that they will meet the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) safety standard.
In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and EPA released a comprehensive scientific report on honey bee health, showing scientific consensus that there are a complex set of stressors associated with honey bee declines, including loss of habitat, parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure.
The agency continues to work with beekeepers, growers, pesticide applicators, pesticide and seed companies, and federal and state agencies to reduce pesticide drift dust and advance best management practices. The EPA recently released new enforcement guidance to federal, state and tribal enforcement officials to enhance investigations of beekill incidents.
More on the EPA’s label changes and pollinator protection efforts: http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/ecosystem/pollinator/index.html
The ANLA and SAF sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to the changes.
Part of the letter reads:
Neonicotinoids are vitally important to the greenhouse, nursery growers and landscape management industries as they are to other segments of U.S. agriculture. This class of chemistry provides unique environmental, economic and public health benefits, such as:
• Systemic insect control not provided by other chemical classes
• Lower impact on most non-target organisms compared with other common insecticide
• Conservation of natural enemies, thereby increasing growers’ use of IPM and beneficial
organisms in their operations
• Control of invasive insect pests threatening greenhouse, nursery and ornamental
landscapes, some of which have the potential to move to agricultural crops: Silverleaf
whitefly, Emerald Ash Borer, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, Asian Citrus Psyllid, and Glassy
Winged Sharpshooter are just a few examples.
Read the entire letter here.
Photo courtesy of Univ. of California Agriculture and Natural Resources