GroundTruth Blog

U.S. Pesticide law is broken - and industry knows it

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by Pesticide Action Network

Right now, behind closed doors in DC, pesticide industry lobbyists are maneuvering to strip critical pesticide protections from federal law. This week it's the Clean Water Act, next week it may very well be the Endangered Species Act. And they think nobody’s watching.

Pesticides are mostly regulated mostly under a notoriously weak, industry-friendly law – the Federal Insecticide Fungicide Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). But stronger environmental statutes like the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act also address pesticides, and do so in ways that allow for better science, more locally appropriate solutions and less industry influence. The pesticide lobby therefore wants to keep all regulation under FIFRA, because they know how to sidestep and subvert this statute.

So PAN has joined forces with the Center for Biological Diversity and 130+ allied groups to call for more — not less — protection from pesticides. In a letter, sent today to EPA, we cite undue pesticide industry influence over EPA’s pesticide decisions under FIFRA — as well as documented pesticide impacts such as endocrine disruption, cancers and reproductive disorders for humans and wildlife — in requesting increased protections from harmful pesticide use. Specifically, the groups urge EPA to use the “rigorous scientific review process and strong legal protections” of the federal Endangered Species Act.

In January, the Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America filed the most comprehensive legal action ever brought under the Endangered Species Act to protect imperiled wildlife from pesticides. The suit seeks to compel the EPA to evaluate the impacts of hundreds of the most dangerous pesticides known to be harmful to more than 200 endangered and threatened species. The process would yield common-sense restrictions on some of the most harmful pesticides and safeguard human health, drinking water and wildlife. Get more information here.

Take action » Without public outcry the pesticide lobby may get away with their maneuverings to exempt pesticides from our nation's strongest environmental laws. Please write or call your Congressional representative this week.

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