Environmentalists are blaming EPA pesticide approval shortcuts for endangering the honeybee population. Honeybees are responsible for pollinating billions-worth of U.S. crops each year and have seen a 20 to 30-percent decline in the past five-years.
Environmentalists blame EPA’s so-called conditional registration process that allows pesticide sales before needed studies are done – as long as the maker provides follow-up data and there’s no unreasonable risk to the environment.
But a GAO study found EPA recordkeeping of the registration is confusing and incomplete. Jonathan Evans is with the Center for Biological Diversity – a National Environmental Advocacy Group…
“EPA has been approving thousands of hazardous pesticides through a loop hole called the conditional registration process. One of the pesticides that has been the biggest problem on the environment and on agriculture is the approval of neonicatoid pesticides that are harmful in particular to honey bees and other pollinators.”
EPA Spokeswoman Cathy Milbourn says it is inaccurate to assert EPA’s conditional registration process has allowed unsafe pesticides to enter the marketplace. She adds an internal review of the process has confirmed all pesticides that enter the marketplace are safe for usage. Evans claims the GAO study shows inadequate pesticide tracking and testing and the need for wholesale reforms. Complicating the picture…
“Unfortunately we don’t have a direct alliance between the pesticide manufacturers that are seeking to make as much money as possible, and the agricultural / environmental community that want safe and effective systems to produce food and public water supplies.”
Evans admits there may be several causes of so-called colony collapse disorder in honeybees. But he concludes key pesticides designed to kill insects also are killing honeybees.