The Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing the neonicotinoid class of insecticides, and taking public comments through July 24.

As directed by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, section 3(g), EPA is reviewing the pesticide registration of four neonicotinoid products to ensure that they can still be used without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. The public comment opportunity on these active ingredients include: an aquatic ecological assessment for imidacloprid; the combined preliminary pollinator risk assessment for clothianidin and thiamethoxam; and the draft bee assessment for dinotefuran. Learn more about these documents here.

Neonicotinoids are use primarily as foliar sprays, soil applications, or as seed treatments. Seed-applied insecticide treatments are the major application method in Iowa and the U.S. Modern seed treatments provide a high level of precision when compared to foliar applications, resulting in less product being applied in the environment. These products have largely replaced many older insecticides because of their effectiveness in pest management programs and favorable mammalian safety and environmental profile.

Learn more about the benefits and safety of these crop protection compounds at the Growing Matters website. Resources here include: research outcome facts sheetsresearch reports, videos, and infographics.

Farmers are urged to comment to EPA by telling them how they use these products, how they fit into their Integrated Pest Management program, and what the impact would be if these products are no longer available. Tell EPA that Iowa farmers need to be able to access all the crop protection tools available. Tell the agency that by restricting this one class, you will have to use older classes of chemicals that will need to be used at a higher rate and likely result in more environmental degradation. Remind EPA that neonicotinoids are less toxic to humans than the organophosphates and carbamate products they replaced.

Learn more about the EPA comment opportunity at this link. Comment directly to EPA at this link by Monday, July 24.