Violation Sheds Light On Flawed EPA Process
To the Editor:
Recently we became aware of a specific issue which serves to heighten concerns about the approval process for pesticides in this country.
This incident involves an “organic” herbicide, Eco-Might, whose label indicated it contains all organic ingredients when in fact testing results as confirmed by the USEPA Region 9 (California) found this product to contain hazardous chemicals, including glyphosate, bifenthrin, and permethrin.
Although EPA issued an Advisory Letter for noncompliance, this letter never went to other regional EPA offices so that our Connecticut DEEP had no knowledge of this violation until we informed them
In addition to EPA’s failure to notify all of its divisions, other significant loopholes in the pesticide approval process include:
1) New products that profess to contain only organic ingredients are automatically approved for distribution.
2) EPA allows any new products to be evaluated by data submitted by the manufacturer, an obvious conflict of interest.
3) Inert ingredients (things like stabilizers, surfactants, etc) do not have to be listed on the label even though studies have shown some inerts to be toxic to bees.
In recent years EPA’s operations have come under scrutiny from various environmental organizations and news media with reports of questionable decisions made which favor the industry, not the consumer
In summary, the Eco-Might situation demonstrates a breakdown in systems designed to protect the environment and us. If we cannot trust the labels on pesticides, we can refrain from buying them! We can learn about other ways to control pests in our yards and gardens which are safer and promote sustainability. There is much information on the Protect Our Pollinators website (Propollinators.org) and the Beyond Pesticides website (Beyondpesticides.org).
Protect Our Pollinators
Pollinator Pathway Steering Committee