"A new court settlement will put the Environmental Protection Agency on track to regulate pesticides more tightly."
"Call it a win for the little species, though all kinds of endangered animals and plants stand to benefit.
A sweeping legal settlement approved this week has put the Environmental Protection Agency on a binding path to do something it has barely done before, by its own acknowledgment: Adequately consider the effects on imperiled species when it evaluates pesticides and take steps to protect them.
“When you think about what a pesticide is, it’s supposed to kill pests,” said Michal Freedhoff, assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “It is difficult to design a process where it kills only the things it is supposed to kill.”
In the same area as crop-damaging insects, there may be threatened bumblebees and butterflies; among unwanted weeds, endangered plants. At the same time, pesticides help farmers produce enough food to meet the demands of a growing population. And they need a wide variety of pesticides to defend their crops, they say, as insects and weeds gain resistance to various chemicals."