Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pesticide Action Alert

The following came from the American Bird Conservancy (via Birderblog).
URGENT - We have 24 Hours to Stop the Most Deadly Pesticide to Birds

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to make a decision on whether to ban the bird-killing pesticide, carbofuran. This is the most deadly pesticide to birds currently being used in the United States. It is more toxic than DDT. A single drop is enough to kill a bird.

We have just learned that because of pressure from the manufacturer, FMC corporation, the EPA may make the wrong decision and elect to keep this pesticide on the market. We have 24 hours to counteract the industry pressure. We need your help.

We ask you to email carbofuran@epa.gov, CCing gshire@abcbirds.org telling the EPA to ban carbofuran now because of its danger to birds, other wildlife, and people. Your email can be brief. Use the talking points provided below to help. What is important is that you tell them in your own words that you do not want carbofuran to be used in the United States. Alternatives exist that are equally effective and not deadly to birds. There is no reason to keep carbofuran registered.

Please send your email before 5pm Wednesday August 2, 2006!

Alternatively you can fax your comments to 202-564-0512.

Thank you for taking this emergency action on behalf of birds and wildlife,

George Fenwick
President, American Bird Conservancy

We provide the following talking points to help you let EPA know why this chemical must be banned:
  • All legal uses of carbofuran kill birds resulting in potential violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) every time it is applied. Farmers are placed in jeopardy of violating the MBTA whenever carbofuran is used, even if
    they follow the label directions.
  • Carbofuran is very toxic to people. Human risk assessments have been done three times and they show greater risks to farm workers each time they are refined. These studies indicate that carbofuran is too dangerous to use.
  • Carbofuran is so toxic it kills all the beneficial insects as well as pests with the result that integrated pest management cannot be done.
  • Carbofuran is so toxic that no crop rotation can be performed for ten months after application. This eliminates the possibility of crop rotation as a tool for reducing insect damage to crops.
  • Alternative chemicals exist for all crops except artichokes. Many alternatives exist for corn. Only a very small percentage of corn produced in the U.S. uses carbofuran now because of its environmental effects and safety issues.
  • New insecticides have been developed for rice, cotton, corn, and other crops specifically to replace carbofuran. Most of these are reduced risk chemicals presenting much less bird, wildlife, and human health risks.
  • Transgenic corn has been developed specifically for resistance to corn rootworm and European corn borer, further reducing the need for conventional pesticides.
  • The United States is a world leader in pesticide regulation. Cancellation of carbofuran will send a strong message to Latin America, Canada, and Mexico about the dangers of this pesticide. This will help save birds in those countries when they phase out carbofuran. Canceling the tolerances of pesticide residues on foods will immediately limit the use of carbofuran in all countries that export to the US.

1 comment:

larrylawntrouble said...

In my opinion, pesticide use should be weighed against potential benefits. When the benefits are purely cosmetic it's much more difficult to justify the health risks.