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Washington, DC, August 25, 2006—The Competitive Enterprise Institute expressed disappointment over a federal judge’s decision to overturn an Environmental Protection Agency policy that could have helped in the battle against diseases like the deadly West Nile virus. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
The Bush administration’s 2004 rule allowed EPA to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy by eliminating a mandate that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service review EPA pesticide approvals before they take effect. EPA regulations already ensure that pesticides have no measurable impact on endangered species, and CEI’s research shows that existing pesticides have little impact on species.
“Delaying access to these life-saving products at a time when they are greatly needed to address problems such as the West Nile virus is bad public health policy,” says CEI’s director of risk and environmental policy, <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Angela Logomasini. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control report more than 20,000 serious West Nile illnesses and about 800 deaths from the virus since 1999.
“Faster approval of new pesticide products is desperately needed because only a handful of effective products remain on the market for fighting West Nile,” says Logomasini. Current excessive pesticide regulations have reduced the number of products available and discourage new product development.
“Ironically,” Logomasini points out, “the West Nile virus—which pesticides could help control—poses a much higher threat to species than do pesticides as demonstrated by recent West Nile-related deaths of endangered California Condors.” Four condor chicks were reported dead from West Nile at a wildlife center in Idaho at the end of July.
For more on CEI’s work on pesticide regulation, please see: