EPA decides not to test restrictions on Roundup pesticide

June 29, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided against studying the restricted use of glyphosate, a pesticide sold as "Roundup" by Monsanto Co.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) glyphosate has "devastating effects on monarch butterflies." The organization petitioned the EPA to study its regulated use last year. Following a year of silence, the NRDC took the EPA to court, which resulted in the EPA agreeing to respond to the petition this summer.

On June 24, the EPA gave the NRDC a response by denying their petition, saying that "the agency at this time has not determined that glyphosate causes unreasonable adverse effects to the monarch butterfly."

According to the NRDC, this denial goes against what they believe to be broad scientific consensus. They say that the decline of the monarch butterfly population is due primarily to a loss of milkweed, a flower that serves as the sole source of food for the monarch's caterpillars. Backing up their argument, the NRDC cited a study in the Journal of Animal Ecology (Flockhart et. al, 2015) that argues that glyphosate use is the main reason for the loss of milkweed.

The EPA has responded by claiming that it is in fact taking the problem seriously, and believes that their efforts in protecting bees will extend to the monarch butterfly, and reiterated that they believe their organizational objectives align with those of the NRDC.

Because of how rapidly they can change, staying on top of and following EPA studies, restrictions, and regulations can be difficult and time consuming. Hiring environmental consultants can help you better understand the latest trends and regulations, as well as find quick and cost effective ways to adjust your business to meet them.