This Science Advisory Committee report explains that”[t]he focus of this SAP meeting was on the problem formulation phase of the human health and environmental risk assessment of pesticidal products using RNA interference technology (RNAi). EPA consulted with the SAP on scientific issues that might be unique to RNAi and how they could fit under the existing risk assessment framework. The SAP addressed seven charge questions divided into human health considerations (questions 1-3) and ecological risk considerations (questions 4-7). The Panel provided the following overall summary of the major conclusions and recommendations detailed in the report.”
“Human Health Considerations – Major Conclusions and Recommendations
EPA has a new and useful website called Reevaluation: Review of Registered Pesticides. This site includes links to individual pesticides in registration review, and to groups of pesticides in registration review. The site also includes links to discussions of why EPA reviews pesticide registrations; previous pesticide reviews; opportunities to participate in registration reviews; and registration review schedules.
Click here for EPA’s pesticide registration review website.
Editor’s Note: On this Earth Day, CRE notes the partial victory of administrative process and sound science in US District Court.
From: Courthouse News Service
By WILLIAM DOTINGA
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Beekeepers and environmentalists missed some administrative hoops before challenging honeybee-killing pesticides, a federal judge ruled.
Four beekeepers joined with nonprofits including the Sierra Club, Center for Food Safety and Center for Environmental Health in suing the Environmental Protection Agency last year over its approval of pesticides containing clothianidin and thiamethoxam.
EPA has updated its conditional pesticide registration Web page to enhance transparency and to provide additional information about conditional pesticide registrations. EPA’s update adds a table showing all pesticide active ingredients initially registered under the conditional registration authority in FIFRA from FY 2000 to the present. This analysis shows that the vast majority of registrants had submitted the data, and EPA had completed data review. Overall, the analysis of the data supports EPA’s findings at the time of the initial product registrations that the pesticides were properly reviewed and labeled.
On April 22, 2014, EPA, NMFS, FWS and the Department of Agriculture will hold a one day workshop to provide a forum for scientific and technical feedback on their joint interim approaches issued in November 2013, in response to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report entitled, “Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides.” The meeting will be held at EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, One Potomac Yard, 2777 S. Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22202 in the 1st floor conference room. Webinar and teleconference information will be provided to participants requesting access via webinar and telephone.
EPA has published several draft guidance documents for public comment. These documents detail EPA’s approach in developing a pesticide volatilization screening methodology for human health. Once final, these guidance documents will be posted on EPA’s Web site, to promote consistent risk assessment practices and provide transparency for pesticide registrants and other interested stakeholders. EPA must receive any comments on these documents on or before May 27, 2014. Click here to read EPA’s Federal Register notice seeking public comment on these guidance documents.
EPA has proposed revisions to the Agency’s pesticide exposure Worker Protection Standard. EPA’s has proposed changes in worker training regarding the safe usage of pesticides, including how to prevent and effectively treat pesticide exposure. EPA’s proposed changes also cover workers and others near treated fields. In addition, EPA has proposed that children under 16 be legally barred from handling all pesticides, with an exemption for family farms. Click here for more information on the EPA’s Proposed Worker Protection Standard.
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.
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 www.regulations.gov. 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 .