Archive for February, 2014

CRE Comments at RNAi SAP

The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness commented at EPA’s recent Science Advisory Panel reviewing certain questions about the use of RNAi in pesticides.  CRE’s comments made the following and other points.

First, EPA’s current methods for GM pesticide risk assessments are sufficiently broad and flexible to determine the safety of pesticides or crops developed using RNAi techniques. Consequently, EPA does not need to develop new guidance on how to assess RNAi pesticides.

Second, EPA should not rely on Heinemann et al (2013) or on Zhang et al (2012) because they do not meet Information Quality Act (“IQA”) standards.

Comment on Memorandum of Understanding on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

A draft Memorandum of Understanding between the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs and the Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service to protect migratory birds is now available for public comment. The comment period will end March 7, 2014. To submit comments, go to the docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0744 at EPA anticipates signing the MOU at the annual Council for the Conservation of Migratory Birds meeting in April 2014. The purpose of this MOU is to promote the conservation of migratory bird populations through enhanced collaboration between EPA’s OPP and FWS on actions carried out by OPP. Migratory birds are an important component of biological diversity, and as such, conserving them and their habitats supports ecological integrity, contributes to public conservation education, and enhances the growing interest in outdoor recreation opportunities. Under the MOU, EPA’s primary responsibilities include: considering the effects of pesticides on migratory birds, improving reporting on wildlife incidents, using best available data in ecological risk assessments, ensuring that bird hazard language appears on all appropriate pesticide product labels, promoting migratory bird conservation in international activities, and encouraging Integrated Pest Management. Some of FWS’ primary responsibilities include: providing OPP with technical information on avian stressors, developing and providing OPP with species-specific avian conservation plans, developing a mechanism to exchange bird mortality information, promoting research into the effects of pesticides on birds, and making available information on alternative control methods to avicides and rodenticides. More information is available here .