EPA has announced agricultural grants for Integrated Pest Management practices to reduce the use of potentially harmful pesticides and lower risk to bees all while controlling pests and saving money.
“These collaborative projects can provide innovative solutions to reduce pesticide risks to pollinators and crops,” said James Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Initiatives such as these will encourage others to adopt promising technologies and practices across the nation to reduce pesticide risks while maximizing crop production and protecting public health.”
EPA’s Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel will meet to consider and review: RNAi Technology as a Pesticide: Problem Formulation for Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment. This SAP meeting will occur on January 28, 2014, from 9 a.m. to approximately 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at EPA Conference Center, Lobby Level, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA 22202.
EPA encourages that written comments and requests for oral comments be submitted by January 20, 2014. However, written comments and requests to make oral comments may be submitted until the date of the meeting.
EPA has adopted new performance standards for the AOAC Use-dilution Methods for Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Antimicrobial pesticide registrants and the laboratories that provide data to support their registrations should begin using the new standards. The new AOAC UDM performance standards will help ensure that EPA-registered antimicrobial pesticides are effective against the target microbes, which is especially critical in health care settings.
AOAC INTERNATIONAL is a scientific association, which publishes standardized, chemical analysis methods designed to increase confidence in results of chemical and microbiologic analyses.
Click here for the relevant EPA website
EPA’s Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee met by webinar on December 4-6, 2013. The PPDC addressed a number of pesticide issues at this meeting, including: 1) an ESA update focused on implementing the NAS/NRC report on pesticide ESA consultations; 2) an update from the Pollinator Protection Workgroup; and 3) an EDSP update. Relevant documents, including power point presentations, are available here.
Food and Chemical Toxicology, which last year published a controversial rat study by Gilles-Éric Séralini that claimed to show that genetically modified corn could lead to a high incidence of cancer, has sent the French scientist a letter saying that the paper will be withdrawn if he does not agree to do it voluntarily.
On October 21-22, 2013, the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group’s Environmental Quality Issues Working Committee met at EPA’s offices in Arlington, Virginia. On October 22, EPA representatives briefed the committee on the current status of three ESA pesticides issues:
1) Lawsuits and Court Decisions;
2) National Academy of Sciences Report; and
3) Request for Species Location Information.
Click here for EPA’s power point presentation.
Two federal agencies have reached a historic agreement to “provide landowners with a mechanism to keep working lands in production while complying with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and will facilitate restoration of habitat for at-risk species. It also will help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners rest a little easier knowing their operations are protected for the long term and that they are contributing to conserving vital natural resources.”
The enviro plaintiffs filed a supplemental amended complaint in the ESA pesticides in Seattle federal court. All parties to this case have also joined in a motion asking the court to stay the case until the Government shut down ends, and the Government attorneys are allowed to work again. Click here to read stay motion.
The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness filed comments on the National Research Council’s review of EPA’s draft paper State of the Science on Nonmonotonic Dose Response. CRE’s comments emphasize the need for EPA to ensure the reproducibility of studies the Agency uses to assess and regulate NMDRs. CRE’s comments also discuss the recent NRC report Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides. This NRC report expounded the Information Quality Guidelines, which apply to all studies used by EPA.
Click here to read CRE’s comments
The NGO Plaintiffs have a filed a brief opposing the Industry Motion for another amended complaint in pesticides litigation in San Francisco federal district court. The Plaintiffs summarize their opposition as follows:
“In their motion, CropLife repeatedly mischaracterizes the Amended Complaint, which identifies specific affirmative agency actions for every failure to consult claim, as well as specific triggers for every reinitiation claim. CropLife’s motion emphasizes legal issues, such as jurisdiction, that should instead be raised in a motion to dismiss or otherwise resolved on the merits, and their arguments demonstrate that they have notice of the claims against them and can prepare a response to the Amended Complaint. CropLife demands details that are not appropriately sought through a motion for more definite statement and are not required at the pleading stage, such as identification of specific documents backing the facts alleged. For all these reasons, as further discussed below, Plaintiffs ask the Court to deny the motion.”