The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Farm Bill Would Allow Mass Killing of Endangered Species With Pesticides
The bill launches the broadest attack on the Endangered Species Act in 45 years, eliminating the requirement that federal agencies analyze pesticides' harm to the nation's 1,800 protected species before approving them, greatly increasing the risk of extinctions.
"House Republicans are putting salmon, killer whales and other wildlife on the fast track to extinction," said Lori Ann Burd, director of the Center for Biological Diversity's environmental health program. "This is a stunning gift to the pesticide industry, with staggering implications for endangered species."
Earlier this year the National Marine Fisheries Service released a "biological opinion" showing that three widely used insecticides—chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon—are putting killer whales and 37 different salmon and sturgeon species on a path to extinction.
In response the pesticide industry has sought to exempt pesticides completely from the Endangered Species Act. During this session of Congress, the pesticide industry has spent more than $43 million on congressional lobbying to achieve that goal.
In addition to the attacks on endangered species, H.R. 2 weakens Clean Water Act protections from pesticides, includes a sweeping provision that would gut protections for forests, and has 46 different provisions that would curtail public input and common-sense protections provided by the National Environmental Policy Act.
Late additions to the legislation would also roll back virtually all protections for old-growth forests in Alaska.
"This farm bill should be called the Extinction Act of 2018," said Burd. "If it becomes law, this bill will be remembered for generations to come as the one that drove the final nail in the coffin of some of America's most vulnerable species."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.
When Paris's Notre Dame caught fire on April 15, the flames threatened more than eight centuries of culture and history. The fire evoked shock, horror and grief worldwide. While the cathedral burned, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed determination to rebuild what the French regard as a sacred site.
By Andrea Germanos
Lawyer and visionary thinker Polly Higgins, who campaigned for ecocide to be internationally recognized as a crime on par with genocide and war crimes, died Sunday at the age of 50.
She had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer last month and given just weeks to live.
The world's first malaria vaccine was launched in Malawi on Tuesday, NPR reported. It's an important day in health history. Not only is it the first malaria vaccine, it's the first vaccine to target any human parasite.