Bird-killing pesticide banned in the USA

This National Geographic video is called A golden eagle in Scotland eyes some white mountain hares.

From the American Bird Conservancy in the USA:


May 11, 2009
4:12 PM

CONTACT: American Bird Conservancy
Steve Holmer, 202-234-7181, ext. 216,

EPA Bans Deadly Pesticide Responsible for Millions of Bird Deaths

WASHINGTON – May 11 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its final decision to revoke all food tolerances for the highly toxic pesticide carbofuran, which is sold under the name “Furadan” by FMC Corporation. The agency’s announcement confirms a proposed action first announced in July 2008. FMC Corp. will have the opportunity to challenge the decision within 90 days with a petition to stay the rule. When the rule becomes final, EPA will proceed with the cancellation of registration for all uses of the pesticide.

Carbofuran causes neurological damage in humans, and one of the most deadly pesticides to birds left on the market. It is responsible for the deaths of millions of wild birds since its introduction in 1967, including Bald and Golden Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, and migratory songbirds,” said Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy. “This EPA decision marks a huge victory for wildlife and the environment.”

This rule becomes effective December 31, 2009 to allow for commodities in storage to be used. Most uses of carbofuran on food crops were voluntarily cancelled in March 2009, effective immediately, so that most uses of the pesticide have been cancelled for the 2009 growing season. Today’s announcement is available at .

In its 2005 ecological risk assessment on carbofuran, EPA stated that all legal uses of the pesticide were likely to kill wild birds. If a flock of mallards were to feed in a carbofuran treated alfalfa field, EPA predicted that 92% of the birds in the flock would quickly die. EPA analysis has also confirmed that carbofuran is a threat to human health through contaminated food, drinking water, and occupational exposure.

March 2010. Opening arguments will be heard in an appeal starting in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that will decide the fate of carbofuran, one of the most toxic pesticides to birds. American Bird Conservancy (ABC) – the USA’s leading bird conservation organization – hopes the judge’s gavel will sound the death knell for this chemical in the United States, which is thought to have caused the deaths of tens of millions of birds since its use began in 1965: here.

Synthetic pyrethroids (Cypermethrin) were 1000 times more toxic to wildlife than the pesticides that farmers were previously using to dip sheep. When it was in use it was estimated that about 1.5 billion animals in rivers, streams and ponds were being killed by Cypermethrin sheep dip every year. In addition 400 million litres of waste Cypermethrin was sprayed onto meadows and fields every year, causing untold destruction to butterflies and bees: here.

How Obama Sold the Farm: Pesticide Lobbyist Gets Key Job: here.

August 2010: America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Bayer CropScience have decided to halt the production of the insecticide aldicarb by 2014 in a move that has delighted leading bird conservation organisation the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and other environmental groups today: here.

Like DDT before it, a new class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids is believed to be causing drastic population declines in bird species. It is so effective at killing insects, that it has deprived birds of their basic food. Some scientists also believe they are behind the decline in bee populations in Europe and the United States known as honey-bee Colony Collapse Disorder: here.

Could we be facing a future without birds? Our reliance on pesticides has cut a swathe through their numbers. We must act now, argues Kate Ravilious: here.

November 2010. A gamekeeper formerly employed on the Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire has been convicted of laying a rabbit bait laced with the banned poison Carbofuran on an open hillside. Lewis Whitham, now of Skipton, North Yorkshire, appeared at Lanark Sheriff Court, and plead guilty to placing a poison bait, contrary to section 5 1 A of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. He was fined £800. The court heard that on 8th April 2009, Whitham was witnessed driving a quad bike on Braid Hill, near Leadhills. He was seen to stop the bike and take a dead rabbit off the back of it. This was staked to the ground and sprinkled with “a significant quantity” of Carbofuran: here.

September 2011. Devon and Cornwall Police and the RSPB are again appealing for information following confirmation this week that two peregrine falcons found dead near St Just had been poisoned with the banned pesticide carbofuran. The RSPB is offering a reward of £1000 for information leading to a conviction: here.

6 thoughts on “Bird-killing pesticide banned in the USA

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