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

Clint Smith
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer has sparked massive protests nationwide. This hour, writer and scholar Clint Smith reflects on this moment, through conversation, letters, and poetry.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.