Dr. Henry Miller recently penned an informative piece on the EPA s chemophobia for Forbes.com titled A Wake-Up Call for U.S. Farmers: The EPA Is Trying to Put You Out of Business. He argues that American farmers, and the rest of us, need to realize the damage that will be done if the EPA needlessly restricts or eliminates neonics. Dr. Miller references the EPA s recently issued report claiming that neonics provide negligible overall benefits in growing soy crops. However, they determined this by conducting a rushed review of cherry-picked studies and articles and without talking to a single farmer. Dr. Miller writes, With [this finding], EPA has lent credibility to the anti-pesticide activists bogus argument. But as is so often the case, the scientific community disputes EPA s conclusions. As Professor Angus Catchot of Mississippi State University pointed out, EPA neglected to ask the people who generate data if they had pertinent data to include. EPA also failed to consult Dr. Gus Lorenz, Distinguished Professor of Entomology at the University of Arkansas, whose experiments first documented the efficacy of neonics in controlling an outbreak of grape collaspis, a root-attacking predator found in the subsoil that was destroying soybean crops in the mid-South in 2005-2007.
Dr. Miller writes that now that the neonics are killing bees argument is falling apart, the EPA is trying to claim that neonics don t work that well anyway. With this report, the EPA is implying that eliminating or restricting neonics won t cause much damage to farmers. But that is simply not the case. Neonicotinoid pesticides are the most popular and widely used insecticide in the world today. They only kill insects that attempt to feed on the crops, and significantly decrease the amount of pesticide that needs to be applied. They are also virtually harmless to mammals, and reduce exposure to beneficial insects like bees.
He concludes, All this is vintage EPA: shoddy science; cherry-picked, often-unreliable sources of information; disregard for real-world evidence, economic ramifications and farming practicalities; and potentially catastrophic decisions at the behest of environmental extremists. For America s farmers this situation should be a wake-up call to mobilize and oppose policies that could snatch away another tool that is vital to U.S. agricultural productivity.
ACSH s Dr. Gil Ross said this: It still amazes me, after all this time, to realize how nefarious, counterproductive and unscientific the EPA manages to be, surpassing itself in irrelevancy and destructiveness each year. How they could ignore both the science the lack of neonic toxicity, especially as regards bees and the facts on the ground simply asserting that neonics are not useful, without talking to a single farmer, because I said so reveals their actual goal: to control everything they can regulate, even if out of existence, by any means necessary.