EPA, Fish and Wildlife to review pesticide use
The EPA is requesting the voluntary cancelation or amendment to several pesticides including atrazine for certain uses. EPA’s request attempts to stop the pesticide use in areas like roadsides and Conservation Reserve Program land.
Triazine Network Chairman Gary Marshall says the EPA’s request comes after a court order required both EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine if pesticides are allowed to be approved through the Endangered Species Act.
Marshall tells Brownfield the move puts critical farming tools at risk.
“[With] a lot of the endangered species, EPA came to the realization they might be affected but they didn’t do a very good job scientific evaluation and that’s what we’re pressing both EPA and the services to do, which is follow the science.”
The former Missouri Corn Growers CEO says EPA has failed to properly evaluate the pesticides, pushing the task mostly to Fish and Wildlife. Ag chemical company Syngenta has pulled the registrations on some of its lesser used products to speed up the process.
Both atrazine and Roundup are currently being evaluated and Marshall says while it will likely take time and expects only minor adjustments, the new dual evaluation system could be ‘very bad’ for farmers.
“Because it’s not just these products,” he said. “These are the first two that are going through. Every single product that farmers use on their fields to control insects, to control weeds… all of these products have to go through this process.”
Applicators can continue to use the products according to current regulations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act as the agencies evaluate them.