ARA comments on EPA's imidacloprid registration review

In January, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its preliminary pollinator risk assessment for imidacloprid, the first of several neonicotinoid insecticides undergoing registration reevaluation. The Agricultural Retailers Association submitted comments to EPA before the comment period ended April 14.

Activist groups have been coordinating a social media campaign and filing numerous lawsuits over the last several years to pressure the EPA to remove neonics from the U.S. marketplace. In today's globally competitive agricultural industry, it's important that agricultural retailers and their farmer customers have access to tools like imidacloprid, which are critical for integrated pest management (IPM) programs.

Most uses of imidacloprid have a very low risk potential to bees as indicated from the preliminary report. Last month, Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) sent a letter to EPA expressing

concern with a series of risk assessments being conducted on neonicotinoid insecticides.

ARA supports the use of risk-based assessments in understanding factors that may impact honey bee and native pollinator health. EPA needs to use widely accepted, peer-reviewed science and methodologies as it relates to any preliminary pollinator assessment for imidacloprid or other critical agricultural pesticide products.

The key to any short-term and long-term solution to improve pollinator health is through a diverse public-private partnership that brings together all impacted segments such as agribusinesses, farmers, commercial beekeepers, government agencies, conservation groups, manufacturers, and food processors.

Read ARA's comments to EPA...