As PMP reported Jan. 6, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a preliminary pollinator risk assessment for the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid.
What follows is a Jan. 13 statement from Dr. Cisse Spragins, president and founder of Rockwell Labs, on the topic. Imidacloprid is among the active ingredients the North Kansas City, Mo.-based manufacturer uses in its pest management solutions.
Rockwell has been closely following the regulatory developments with respect to the pollinator issue. Neonicotinoids are extremely important tools for PMPs, turf professionals and growers. Imidacloprid is an important active for Rockwell, and this class of chemicals provides a level of both safety and efficacy that is greater than that seen with many older actives that these products replaced.
We applaud EPA’s objective in using science as their guide in conducting risk assessments, but we are also aware that the Agency is under political pressure with respect to this issue and it would be naïve to expect that that plays no part at all in their methodology or findings. The current focus is on agriculture and contract pollination; however, it is important that as an industry that relies heavily on pesticides that we speak with one voice and advocate for rigorous science in the process, whether it directly affects the structural industry now or not.
At the end of 2016, we should see the risk assessment that includes all registered uses of imidacloprid, as well as the other nitroguanidine neonicotinoids. When the current preliminary risk assessment is published in the Federal Register, it is important that the Agency receive as many comments as possible from professional users during the 60-day public comment period.
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