EPA requires dinotefuran to be determined on apples, peaches, and nectarines

Washington — The Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency is considering “urgently” approval of a neonicotinoid insecticide that kills bees for use on more than 57,000 acres of fruit trees in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, including apples, Peaches and nectarines.
If approved, this will mark the 10th consecutive year that the states of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania have received emergency exemptions for dinotefuran to target brown lacewing bugs on pear and stone fruit trees that are very attractive to bees. The states are seeking approximate retrospective approval for spraying from May 15 to October 15.
Delaware, New Jersey, North Carolina and West Virginia have received similar approvals in the past 9 years, but it is not known whether they are also seeking approval in 2020.
“The real emergency here is that the US Environmental Protection Agency often uses backdoor procedures to approve pesticides that are highly toxic to bees,” said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biodiversity. “Only last year, the EPA used this exemption procedure to evade normal safety reviews and approved the use of several neonicotinoids that kill honeybees in nearly 400,000 acres of crops. This reckless abuse of the exemption procedure Must stop.”
In addition to dinotefuran emergency approvals for apple, peach, and nectarine trees, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania have also received emergency approvals in the past nine years to use bifenthrin (a toxic Pyrethroid insecticides) to fight the same pests.
“Ten years later, it is safe to say that the same pests on the same tree are no longer an emergency,” Tangli said. “Although the EPA claims to protect pollinators, the reality is that the agency is actively accelerating their decline.”
EPA usually allows emergency exemptions for predictable and chronic conditions that have occurred over many years. In 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of the Inspector General issued a report that found that the agency’s routine “emergency” approval of millions of acres of pesticides did not effectively measure risks to human health or the environment.
The center has filed a legal petition requesting EPA to limit the emergency exemption to two years to prohibit some more serious abuses of this process.
The emergency approval of the neonicotinoid dinotefuran comes as the EPA is reapproving multiple neonicotinoids for non-emergency use in some of the country’s most widely grown crops. The proposed decision of the EPA Office of Pesticides is in stark contrast to the science-based decisions in Europe and Canada to prohibit or highly restrict the use of neon lights outdoors.
The author of an important scientific review on the catastrophic reduction of insects stated that “substantially reducing pesticide use” is the key to preventing the extinction of up to 41% of the world’s insects in the next few decades.
The Center for Biodiversity is a national non-profit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to protecting endangered species and wild areas.

Post time: May-28-2021