Report Shows Continued Widespread Water Contamination from Bee-Killing Neonic Pesticides

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2017—Center for Food Safety (CFS) today released Water Hazards 2.0: Continued Aquatic Contamination by Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the United States, an update to the 2015 report, “Water Hazard: Aquatic Contamination by Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the United States,” which shows continued widespread water contamination from neonicotinoid insecticides.
In particular, the report draws attention to new research that shows a presence of these pesticides in water bodies across the country at levels known to be toxic to several aquatic invertebrates.
Neonicotiniod seed coatings, the largest use of these chemicals, are still not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As this report update makes clear, the scientific evidence continues to mount, yet so far, the EPA has taken no mitigation measures to deal with this growing crisis in our environment,” said Larissa Walker, pollinator program director at Center for Food Safety.
This is concerning as representative studies highlighted in this year’s follow-up report show that continued exposure to neonicotinoid chemicals may cause irreparable neural damage to species impacted, leading to rippling negative effects throughout the food web.
In light of new science and EPA’s inaction in the face of continued contamination, the report makes numerous additional policy recommendations to EPA to stem this ongoing crisis, especially in relation to shortcomings in the agency’s Preliminary Aquatic Risk Assessment to Support the Registration Review of Imidacloprid: EPA in the final risk assessment should more accurately portray the risk posed by seed-coatings.
Background: Neonicotinoid products are applied on more than 150 million acres of crop land annually, with seed coatings being the most common form of application.
Peer-reviewed studies from Holland already show that neonicotinoid contamination correlates significantly with bird population declines and numerous other species are thought be at risk.
There is also new science suggesting that sub-lethal exposure in agricultural landscapes is damaging to wild bees and could have long term repercussions on populations.
Other recent studies – including by EPA itself – have reinforced CFS’s report.

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