Pesticide industries increase lobbying against new EPA regulations: So what s the bad news?

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Environmentalists are agitated by chemical industry trade group CropLife America’s increased spending to thwart EPA efforts to create stricter regulations on pesticide use. According to The New York Times, CropLife America spent $751,000 on lobbying in the last three months of 2010 — a 58 percent increase from the previous year’s expenditures — in response to signs that the EPA aims to increase regulations. Among the more burdensome regulatory efforts being challenged are a contemplated initiative to regulate pesticides under the Endangered Species Act, which would require industry to prove their products do not harm wildlife, and the establishment of a permit program under the Clean Water Act for pesticides sprayed over water sources. The lobbyists argue that such measures, “if left unattended will have serious negative impacts on our economy and on food and fiber production in the United States.” They also argue that these added regulations lack scientific foundation.

“Environmentalists are worried because they believe that the EPA needs to do more to protect them from the health effects of pesticides, but the overwhelming majority of the scientific literature does not support a link between pesticide use and adverse human health effects,” says ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. “These hugely expensive regulations will have little, if any, public health benefit.”

Commenting on a soon to be released ACSH publication on pesticides, “Pesticides and Human Health,” ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross adds, “You will readily appreciate that modern pesticides, herbicides, etc. are extraordinarily safe — and of utmost importance to preserving our crucial food supplies. The Center for Biological Diversity recently sued the EPA to try to get the courts to force them to evaluate every pesticide for harmful effects based on the Endangered Species Act, which, if successful, would wreak havoc on the pesticide industry and by extension our entire agricultural output.”