EPA says updated ESA pesticide policy will protect tools
The head of the EPA’s pesticide program says the agency’s updated policy on pesticide analysis will help protect tools for farmers.
Ed Messina tells Brownfield, until now, EPA had not been analyzing the effects of pesticides on non-target plants and animals, including endangered species, which led to litigation from non-governmental organizations.
“We hadn’t had much of a defense for those cases where we hadn’t done the analysis. And, so, by doing the analysis upfront we’re actually able to preserve those tools for farmers because we won’t lose those through litigation.”
He says analysis will now be done on any new conventional active ingredients and where off-target risk is determined, farmer mitigations will be placed on the label.
“And those mitigations could include soil practices, buffers, you know, creating buffers between streams so that the pesticides do not make their way into waterways and we can protect those species and still be able to use those pesticides.”
Messina says the Biden administration is putting a focus on the Endangered Species Act and it’s the job of his office to make sure growers have the tools they need.
Messina says he has “the utmost respect” for farmers and what they do to feed the world.