Online portal encourages action on EPA neonic analysis

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2014-- In an effort to increase agricultural response to an Environmental Protection Agency analysis that found neonicotinoids have no yield benefit for soybeans, Bayer created an online portal -www.AgVoice4Choice.com - that allows people to send letters to their U.S. Congress representatives.

Lets Talk Food

“Pest management is a significant part of a grower's ability to maximize yield and profitability, and access to the newest insecticide technology is critical. Any action by the EPA to reduce these options could have a crippling impact on production,” noted a Bayer CropScience spokesperson. “As the largest selling insecticide class in the world, it's important to consider: What would happen if neonicotinoids were no longer available?”

EPA opened a public comment period for the analysis until December 22.

Agricultural entities are preparing comments for the agency, which will likely include data from an AgInfomatic study commissioned by Bayer CropScience, Syngenta and Valent USA Corporation.

The companies formed the Growing Matters coalition to illustrate the “economic and societal benefits” of neonics, which are the largest selling insecticide class in the world. A total of 15 reports from the study will be released over the next few months.

Some have questioned the value of neonicotinoids while also pointing to it as a major cause for pollinator population declines. Environmental groups have petitioned the agency to suspend the use of neonicotinoids until it finds more information on how they affect pollinator species. Additionally, Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and John Conyers, D-Mich., and 58 other members of the House, sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy her to suspend the use of neonicotinoids.

According to Growing Matters, the new research shows that a loss of neonicotinoids would force growers to rely on multiple and older classes of insecticides. More foliar sprays of broad-spectrum insecticides would be used in place of targeted seed or soil treatments. Across some commodity crops evaluated, the study found that each pound of neonicotinoid lost would be replaced by nearly five pounds of older insecticides.

A survey at the new www.AgVoice4Choice.com asks, “If neonicotinoids are not available, what products will you use to manage pests in your fields?”

#30

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