Contact: Robert Johns, 202-234-7181 ext.210, firstname.lastname@example.org
|Red-tailed Hawk by Gary Smyle|
In 2008, following years of pressure by ABC, Defenders of Wildlife, and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), EPA announced new regulations to take effect June 4 for ten rodenticides because of their unacceptable risks to children, pets, and non-target wildlife. The EPA-mandated changes to household mouse or rat bait products include switching bait products to tamper- and weather-resistant bait stations, limiting the amount of bait sold to residential consumers, and restricting the use of a second-generation active ingredient.
The EPA began its evaluation of rodenticides in 1998. A lawsuit brought by NRDC over child poisonings, along with the threat of action by ABC and Defenders of Wildlife over the poisoning of birds of prey and San Joaquin kit foxes, convinced EPA to develop a mitigation plan for both ecological effects and children. The manufacturers of these chemicals fought back, pressuring EPA to accept less stringent, alternative plans, and threatening them with lawsuits.
Another key impetus for the new requirements was the more than 10,000 annual calls to poison control centers, many of them for children, in connection with these types of products. Additionally, these rodenticides had been causing the secondary poisoning of birds and mammals that were scavenging on dead or dying rodents, including Golden Eagles, Ravens, endangered San Joaquin kit foxes, and mountain lions.
A handful of companies have advised EPA that they do not plan to comply with the requirements. Consequently, EPA has announced their intention to initiate cancellation proceedings under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA against non-compliant products marketed by the following companies to remove them from the market:
Unfortunately, cancellation can take years if the manufacturers choose to fight the proceedings, during which time, the products can remain on the market. Therefore, in a
The letter by the groups to EPA further states that “It is unacceptable for a major pesticide company to blatantly ignore the risk mitigation measures after the Agency has conducted years of research and risk assessments, and developed a plan to which all companies were given ample time to conform. The sale of an unregistered product after the phase-out period presents an imminent hazard to children, pets, and wildlife, and we strongly believe it is grounds for suspension under FIFRA section 6(c). We feel this is an issue to which the EPA enforcement division must immediately respond with decisive action."
“It is both astonishing and reprehensible that some manufacturers have decided to refuse to comply with prudent safety measures designed to reduce the many human and animal poisoning incidents caused by their products,” said Dr. Michael Fry, Director of Conservation Advocacy for ABC.
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