The EPA should regulate seeds that are dipped or coated with neonicotinoid pesticides. These pesticide-treated seeds can leach into the soil, contaminate waterways and create airborne dust that is toxic to bees.
In the last 25 years, America’s agricultural landscape has become 48 times more toxic to bees. Seed coatings represent the most common use of neonics in the U.S. Every year, 150 million acres are planted with neonic-coated seeds, from soybeans to corn to wheat.
These seeds are commonly used, but the economic benefits are debatable. EPA’s own research found little benefit to coating soybeans in neonics. And some studies have found the seeds reduced crop yield by killing off the target pests’ natural enemies.
Seeds coated with pesticides should be treated like any other pesticide. We urge you to consider neonic-coated seeds to be pesticides and regulate their use.