Dr. Heather Pilatic, codirector of PANNA said, "Endangered species and biological diversity are strong indicators for the health of the natural-resource base on which we all depend. To the extent that we fail to protect that base we erode the possibility of prosperity for future generations. This suit thus presents a real opportunity for American agriculture: By enforcing the law and counting the real costs of pesticide use, we strengthen the case for supporting a transition toward more sustainable pest-control practices like crop rotations and beneficial insect release."
The lawsuit seeks protection for 214 endangered and threatened species throughout the United States, including the Florida panther, California condor, piping plover, black-footed ferret, arroyo toad, Indiana bat, bonytail chub and Alabama sturgeon. Documents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and EPA, as well as peer-reviewed scientific studies, indicate these species are harmed by the pesticides at issue. More than a billion pounds of pesticides are used annually in the United States, and the EPA has registered more than 18,000 different pesticides for use. Extensive scientific studies show widespread and pervasive pesticide contamination in groundwater, drinking water and wildlife habitats throughout the country.
The groups said, "Many EPA-approved pesticides are also linked to cancer and other severe health effects in humans. Some pesticides can act as endocrine disruptors, interfering with natural hormones, damaging reproductive function and offspring, and causing developmental, neurological and immune problems in wildlife and humans. Endocrine-disrupting pesticides cause sexual deformities such as intersex fish (with male and female parts) that cannot reproduce. Scientists believe that pesticides may also play a role in the recent colony collapse disorder, the disappearance of bees that are agriculturally important pollinators."
Miller said, "The EPA authorizes pesticide uses that result in millions of pounds of toxins, including carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, entering our waterways each year, polluting our soil and poisoning our drinking water. Common-sense restrictions on pesticide use that protect endangered species can also safeguard human health."
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