EPA Extends Comment Period for Neonicotinoid Risk Assessments

At the request of stakeholders, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is extending the public comment period for recently released neonicotinoid insecticide risk assessments from February 20, 2018, to April 21, 2018. The Agency published preliminary ecological and human health risk assessments in December 2017 for the neonicotinoid insecticides, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, and a preliminary ecological risk assessment for imidacloprid (assessing risks to birds, mammals, non-target insects, and plants). In December 2017, the Agency also published new cotton and citrus benefits assessments for foliar applications of the neonicotinoids, as well as a response to public comments on the 2014 Benefits of Neonicotinoid Seed Treatment to Soybean Production Continue reading

EPA Releases Draft Risk Assessments for Glyphosate

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing for public comment the draft human health and ecological risk assessments for glyphosate, one of the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States.

The draft human health risk assessment concludes that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.  The Agency’s assessment found no other meaningful risks to human health when the product is used according to the pesticide label.  The Agency’s scientific findings are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by a number of other countries as well as the 2017 National Institute of Health Agricultural Health Survey. Continue reading

APHIS Seeks Comments on several draft pest risk assessments

The governments of Swaziland, China and Brazil have asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of various commodities for consumption into the continental United States.  APHIS has drafted a pest risk assessment that lists potential pests likely to remain on the commodity upon importation if no mitigations are applied.

These risk assessments include citrus, pomegranates and jujube. Continue reading

NIFA to Invest in Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced a competitive opportunity to conduct research on the environmental effects of genetically engineered (GE) organisms, including plants, animals, insects, and microorganisms. The $3.5 million in grants is available through NIFA’s Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants (BRAG) Program.

The BRAG program supports applied and fundamental research to help federal regulators evaluate the effects of GE organisms on their environment. Proposals are solicited to support standard research projects or conference proposals that bring together stakeholders to discuss and evaluate science-based data relevant to environmental risk assessments or risk management related to biotechnology-developed organisms. Continue reading

APHIS Seeks Public Comment on Three Draft Pest Risk Assessments for the Importation of Aquatic Plants

APHIS seeks public comment on three draft pest risk assessments (PRAs) for the importation of the following list of aquatic plants in approved growing media from Denmark into the continental United States and Alaska:

  • Micranthemum callitrchoides, and micranthemoides
  • Myriophyllum mattogrossensis
  • Pogostemon erectus, P. helferi, and stellatus

These PRAs were prepared in response to a request from the Danish Plant Directorate of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and will be available for comment for 30 days. Continue reading

EPA Finalizes Human Health Risk Assessment for Pesticide Used on Pets

The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized the human health risk assessment of tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP). TCVP is an organophosphate insecticide used to control fleas, ticks, and other pests on and around pets and livestock. It is used in residential products like pet collars.

Through the publication of the revised human health risk assessment and related documents, we are addressing a 2009 Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) petition. Continue reading

Draft Pest Risk Assessment Available for Review and Comment: Grape from India

The government of India has requested the U.S. allow grape (Vitis vinifera L.) to be imported into the continental United States. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has drafted a pathway-initiated risk assessment for this request. The comment period will close in 30 days.

If you would like to review the document or provide comments, refer to the Stakeholder Risk Assessment Consultation page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant-health/risk-assessment-consultation.