The U.S. House of Representatives may soon pass the House Farm Bill (H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018), which contains a provision that will undermine the Endangered Species Act, supported by 90% of American voters. The “Poisoned Pollinators Provision” would eliminate the requirement that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consult with two expert agencies (the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service) to identify and minimize negative impacts to endangered species from pesticides that the EPA has registered for commercial use.
What does this mean? If this bill is passed, our government will no longer have to assess the effects of pesticides on endangered species AND can prevent the EPA from banning pesticide use, even when these pesticides have been shown to directly imperil endangered wildlife. Not only will expert federal wildlife agencies no longer have a say about the use of pesticides in proximity to endangered wildlife, the act also limits the opportunities for citizens like you to go to court to protect endangered wildlife.
Passage of this bill puts all of us at risk. DDT, an enormously harmful pesticide, was banned in 1972 after it was linked with precipitous declines in bald eagle and peregrine falcon populations. The impact on wildlife alerted us to look for human impacts of DDT; scientific studies show that human health conditions like breast cancer and male infertility are associated with exposure to DDT. Humans will be at increased risk of poisoning by pesticides if the effect of pesticides on other species is ignored.
What can you do? Please contact your U.S. Representative (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members) and document that you do not support a vote for the House Farm Bill because of the Poisoned Pollinators Provision. If we all stand together, our impact as citizens will be felt.