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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A set of scientific issues being considered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency regarding pollinator risk assessment framework.

item Jenkins, Fred
item Berenbaum, May
item Delcos, Kenneth
item Fefferman, Nina
item Hunt, Greg
item James, Rosalind
item Klaine, Stephen
item Mcmanaman, James
item Ostiguy, Nancy
item Pettis, Jeffery
item Pistorius, Jens
item Potter, Thomas
item Sandy, Martha
item Schwab, Arthur
item Schlenck, Daniel
item Tarpey, David

Submitted to: Government Publication/Report
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/11/2012
Publication Date: 12/13/2012
Publication URL:
Citation: Jenkins, F., Berenbaum, M., Delcos, K., Fefferman, N., Hunt, G., James, R., Klaine, S., Mcmanaman, J., Ostiguy, N., Pettis, J., Pistorius, J., Potter, T.L., Sandy, M., Schwab, A., Schlenck, D., Tarpey, D. 2012. A set of scientific issues being considered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency regarding pollinator risk assessment framework. Government Publication/Report. Advisory Panel Meeting; 9/11-14/2012. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

Interpretive Summary: During deliberations to determine if pesticides are suitable for registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the US Environmental Protection Agency quantitatively assesses risks that these products, during their normal use, may present to bees and other pollinators. Currently these assessments are limited in scale and scope focusing on whether potential contact exposures may increase bee mortality. In light of recent reports of global declines of bees and other pollinators, the agency has proposed a revised framework which will more comprehensively assess risks. This framework includes evaluating dietary, drinking water, as well as contact exposures and assessing potential for adverse impacts to larvae, adults, and whole colonies. EPA convened a panel of sixteen experts to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of this approach. This report summarizes their findings and recommendations. The agency will use the report to guide further refinement of the proposed framework and in development of new regulations and procedures to evaluate pesticide risks to pollinators.

Technical Abstract: On September 11-14, 2012, the US Environmental Protection Agency convened a public meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) to address scientific issues associated with the Office of Pesticides Program’s (OPP) proposed “Pollinator Risk Assessment Framework”. Several sources have reported declines in certain pollinator species globally. A number of factors/agents have been hypothesized as potential contributors to recent declines in honey bee health in general. Currently, no factor has been identified as the single cause. Rather, the available science suggests that pollinator declines are a result of multiple factors which may be acting in various combinations. The purpose of this SAP was to advise OPP on their Pollinator Risk Assessment Framework which focuses on a tiered process for quantitatively evaluating the potential risk to pollinators (using honeybees (Apis mellifera) as a surrogate) associated with the registered use of both systemic and non-systemic pesticides and the exposure and effects data needed to support that process. During this SAP, the US EPA provided an overview of the proposed process for quantifying potential risks of pesticides to honeybees. This overview reflected OPP’s collective efforts with the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CalDPR). This report summarizes the panel’s review of the proposed framework and guidance to the agency regarding the framework’s use, implementation, and the need for further research to address data gaps.

Last Modified: 09/25/2017
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