Nav: Home

A proposal to change environmental risk assessment for pesticides

January 23, 2020

Despite regulatory frameworks designed to prevent environmental damage, pesticide use is still linked to declines in insects, birds and aquatic species, an outcome that raises questions about the efficacy of current regulatory procedures. In a Policy Forum, Christopher Topping and colleagues argue that this discordance between pesticide policy and their observed impacts stems from aging Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) regulations, which have fallen out of line with environmental policy and with the science behind our current ecological reality. In both the European Union and the United States, basic ERA guidelines are decades old and based on assumptions that misrepresent the dynamic ecological systems in modern agricultural landscapes. For example, ERA typically does not account for the fact that climate change, habitat loss and large-scale landscape homogenization can exacerbate the adverse impacts of pesticides. According to the authors, a radical overhaul of ERA is required in order to implement a regulatory framework that delivers adequate environmental protection. Topping et al. propose a more holistic, integrated systems-based approach to pesticide regulation, which would be better able to align multiple agricultural practices with dynamic agroecological factors in pesticide regulation. While this radical change would require challenging changes to administrative structures and a reevaluation of current protections regulations, the fundamental science, technology and data required to support such a system are already available, the authors say.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Pesticide Articles:

Pesticide seed coatings are widespread but underreported
Seed-coated pesticides -- such as neonicotinoids, many of which are highly toxic to both pest and beneficial insects -- are increasingly used in the major field crops, but are underreported, in part, because farmers often do not know what pesticides are on their seeds, according to an international team of researchers.
Pesticide companies leverage regulations for financial gains
Some pesticide companies may put profit ahead of protecting the public from potential harms.
Pesticide exposure may increase heart disease and stroke risk
Occupational exposure to high levels of pesticides may raise the risk of heart disease and stroke, even in generally healthy men.
Biting backfire: Some mosquitoes actually benefit from pesticide application
The common perception that pesticides reduce or eliminate target insect species may not always hold.
Transfer of EU powers leads to silent erosion of UK pesticide regulation
New analysis by the UK Trade Policy Observatory is warning of a significant weakening of enforcement arrangements covering the approval of pesticides as part of legislative changes carried out under the EU Withdrawal Act.
Pesticide exposure causes bumblebee flight to fall short
Bees exposed to a neonicotinoid pesticide fly only a third of the distance that unexposed bees are able to achieve.
Tomato, tomat-oh! -- understanding evolution to reduce pesticide use
Although pesticides are a standard part of crop production, Michigan State University researchers believe pesticide use could be reduced by taking cues from wild plants.
Pesticide cocktail can harm honey bees
A series of tests conducted over several years by scientists at UC San Diego have shown for the first time that Sivanto, developed by Bayer CropScience AG and first registered for commercial use in 2014, could pose a range of threats to honey bees depending on seasonality, bee age and use in combination with common chemicals such as fungicides.
New mechanism of action found for agricultural pesticide fludioxonil
A fungicide commonly used by the agricultural industry to protect grains, fruit and vegetables from mold damage seems to kill fungi by a previously uncharacterized mechanism that delivers a metabolic shock to cells, new research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison finds.
Flaws in industry-funded pesticide evaluation
Academic researchers have examined raw data from a company-funded safety evaluation of the pesticide chlorpyrifos.
More Pesticide News and Pesticide Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Our Relationship With Water
We need water to live. But with rising seas and so many lacking clean water – water is in crisis and so are we. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around restoring our relationship with water. Guests on the show include legal scholar Kelsey Leonard, artist LaToya Ruby Frazier, and community organizer Colette Pichon Battle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#569 Facing Fear
What do you fear? I mean really fear? Well, ok, maybe right now that's tough. We're living in a new age and definition of fear. But what do we do about it? Eva Holland has faced her fears, including trauma and phobia. She lived to tell the tale and write a book: "Nerve: Adventures in the Science of Fear".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Uncounted
First things first: our very own Latif Nasser has an exciting new show on Netflix. He talks to Jad about the hidden forces of the world that connect us all. Then, with an eye on the upcoming election, we take a look back: at two pieces from More Perfect Season 3 about Constitutional amendments that determine who gets to vote. Former Radiolab producer Julia Longoria takes us to Washington, D.C. The capital is at the heart of our democracy, but it's not a state, and it wasn't until the 23rd Amendment that its people got the right to vote for president. But that still left DC without full representation in Congress; D.C. sends a "non-voting delegate" to the House. Julia profiles that delegate, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and her unique approach to fighting for power in a virtually powerless role. Second, Radiolab producer Sarah Qari looks at a current fight to lower the US voting age to 16 that harkens back to the fight for the 26th Amendment in the 1960s. Eighteen-year-olds at the time argued that if they were old enough to be drafted to fight in the War, they were old enough to have a voice in our democracy. But what about today, when even younger Americans are finding themselves at the center of national political debates? Does it mean we should lower the voting age even further? This episode was reported and produced by Julia Longoria and Sarah Qari. Check out Latif Nasser's new Netflix show Connected here. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.