Center for Biological Diversity

Media Advisory, February 13, 2018

Contact:  Jason Davidson, Friends of the Earth, (732) 379-2541,
Lori Ann Burd, Center for Biological Diversity, (971) 717-6405,
Kari Birdseye, NRDC, (415) 875-8243,

Congressman Blumenauer, Conservation Groups to Hold Press Conference Wednesday to Urge EPA to Suspend Approval of Pollinator-killing Pesticides

WASHINGTON— Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) will join conservation groups at a press conference on Capitol Hill at noon on Wednesday to call on the Environmental Protection Agency to stop approving the use of neonicotinoid pesticides known to harm bees, birds and aquatic invertebrates.

The call for action on neonicotinoid pesticides comes a week after the EPA granted the request of industry groups for an extension of the comment periods on risk assessments for four dangerous neonicotinoids clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotefuran and imidacloprid.

Conservation groups support a bill proposed by Rep. Blumenauer that would require the EPA, before approving neonicotinoid pesticides, to use peer-reviewed research to assess the risk to pollinators.

The Saving America’s Pollinators Act would also require the Interior Department to monitor and report annually on the health and population status of native bees, which research indicates are harmed by neonicotinoid pesticides.

On Wednesday the conservation groups will deliver thousands of comments from the public to the EPA, urging the agency to ban pollinator-harming neonicotinoids­­ known to be a leading cause of pollinator population declines.

What: Press conference calling for a more science-based assessment of neonicotinoid pesticides. Delivery of public comments calling for a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides­­ that harm pollinators.

When: Noon on Wednesday, Feb. 14

Where: House Triangle, Capitol Hill


  • U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, who represents Oregon’s 3rd District
  • Elizabeth Southerland, the former director of the EPA’s Office of Science and Technology who resigned in response to the Trump administration’s attack on public health and safety
  • Virginia Ruiz, director of Occupational & Environmental Health at Farmworker Justice
  • Genna Reed, science and policy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy.
  • Quinton Robinson, policy advocate at the National Family Farm Coalition
  • Dr. Luke Goembel, scientist and beekeeper and member of the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association

Who: American Bird Conservancy, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, the Center for Biological Diversity, Central Maryland Beekeepers Association, Earthjustice, Environment America, Farmworker Justice, Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, Moms Across America, National Family Farm Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, Organic Consumers Association, U.S. PIRG

Visuals: Posters, signs and banners

Thousands of scientific studies implicate neonicotinoid pesticides, or “neonics,” as key contributors to declining pollinator populations. And a growing body of research, including research cited by the EPA in its own neonicotinoid assessments, confirms that neonicotinoid pesticides are extremely harmful to birds and aquatic life.

he EPA found that risks posed to certain birds from eating neonic-treated seeds exceeded the agency’s level of concern — the level at which harm is known to occur — by as much as 200-fold. In addition to killing birds, a recent scientific study also found, neonic pesticides significantly impair the migratory ability of seed-eating songbirds.

The EPA’s own assessment found that if neonic-treated seeds make up just 1 percent to 6 percent of a bird’s diet, serious harms could result.

Europe has instituted a temporary ban on neonicotinoids based on the pesticides’ harms to pollinators. Canada’s pesticide regulatory agency has recommended banning the most widely used neonicotinoid based on harms to aquatic ecosystems.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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