Thousands of pesticides go unregulated

Reported by Agence France-Presse and Raw Story—and where else in the US?

MCM

Environmental group: Thousands of pesticides dodge regulation
By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 14:25 EDT

Thousands of pesticides are allowed onto the US market without rigorous safety testing, putting people, animals and crop pollinators like bees at risk, a US environmental group said Wednesday.

The Natural Resources Defense Council said the culprit is a congressional loophole dating back to 1978, which has allowed the Environmental Protection Agency to approve more than 10,000 pesticides with minimal testing.

This “conditional registration” was meant for rare cases — such as a disease outbreak or a public health crisis — but instead has been used for 65 percent of the 16,000 pesticides on the market, the NRDC said.

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Study: Pesticides scramble bees’ brain circuits
By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 14:47 EDT

Pesticides used by farmers to protect crops or bee hives can scramble the brain circuits of honeybees, affecting memory and navigation skills needed to find food, scientists said Wednesday.

This in turn threatened entire colonies of bees whose pollinating functions are vital for human food production, they wrote in the journal Nature Communications.

The team observed honeybee brains in the lab after exposing them to neonicotinoid pesticides used on crops, and organophosphates, the most widely used group of insecticides in the world — in this case coumaphos — sometimes used to control mite infestations in beehives.

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