Pesticides are found in soil and air and in surface water and ground water across the US. Pesticide pollution poses significant risks to the environment, ranging from soil microorganisms to insects, plants, and wildlife.
Some of the most damaging pesticides, such as organophosphate insecticides, neonicotinoid insecticides, and paraquat are already banned in 32 countries, including the European Union. Pesticides contribute to biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, and many negatively impact human health.
Congress is currently considering two pieces of legislation that address pesticide regulation:
OPPOSE — Ask your representatives in Congress to oppose the Agricultural Labeling Uniformity Act (H.R. 4288) proposed as part of the 2023 federal Farm Bill that threatens to undermine local and state authority to protect the health of their residents from pesticides. The bill contains pre-emption language that denies any state or locality their right to impose restrictions on dangerous pesticides. Over 200 communities and six states (Alaska, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Hawaii, and Vermont) have already enacted pesticide restrictions tougher than federal regulations. These would be nullified, and any laws restricting neurotoxic neonicotinoids would be reversed.
SUPPORT — Ask your congressional representatives to support and co-sponsor the Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act (S.269) or PACTPA. This bill calls on the EPA to ban many of the most dangerous pesticides, introduce robust protections for farmworkers, and close loopholes that allow the pesticide industry to circumvent important safety reviews. A recent Brookings Institution report on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its role in monitoring pesticide use states, “A mounting body of evidence indicates that the agency, long-heralded for its early decision to ban DDT, has evolved into a more timid regulator that has not kept pace with the rest of the world to protect the health of people and wildlife.”
Thanks to our friends at Pollinator Pathway, Beyond Pesticides, and the Center for Biological Diversity for researching these bills. Contact your elected officials and take action. Write to them today!
From the Federal Register:
E-mail photo is courtesy of Pesticide Environment Steward.