CDPR Denies California Neonic Petition

  • On November 12, 2020

On October 23, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) denied the petition for a rulemaking proposal to regulate seeds treated with systemic insecticides. The request was made by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Californians for Pesticide Reform, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Pesticide Action Network North America, and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. In general, the petition requested the addition of neonicotinoid-treated seeds to the state’s list of restricted materials. If CDPR were to have agreed with the petition, three actions would have occurred:

  1. Registration and reporting would have been required for all seeds treated with neonicotinoids and other systemic pesticides;
  2. Neonicotinoid-treated seeds would have been listed as restricted materials; and
  3. Non-chemical pest control alternatives would have been promoted.

CDPR did not agree that the first and third requests require rulemaking activity. Therefore, CDPR did not address these requested actions in its decision. Most importantly, the CDPR denied the request that neonicotinoid-treated seeds be listed as restricted materials.  However, CDPR plans to initiate marketplace surveillance targeted at these products to determine how, where, and for what purposes they are being used. The surveillance will assist CDPR in determining whether any additional actions are needed to ensure these products are safe, effective and used in a manner protective of environmental and human health.

ASTA appreciates the leadership role taken by the California Seed Association in coordinating efforts with California agriculture organizations to provide strong information opposing the petition.