Stop Louisiana From Using Pesticide Toxic to Birds

Your help is needed to protect bald eagles, wood storks and other birds in Louisiana, by ensuring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not allow use of one of the world's most potent bird-killing pesticides. Rice growers from Louisiana are seeking an emergency exemption from the EPA to use the banned pesticide carbofuran on 200,000 acres in order to control rice water weevils that feed on rice plants. For the third time in five years, Louisiana is requesting a special exemption for carbofuran use.

Carbofuran has been responsible for more avian deaths than any other pesticide, killing an estimated 1 to 2 million birds annually in the United States. Application of carbofuran to crops has resulted in as many as 17 bird kills for every five acres treated. Use of carbofuran has been restricted for years. If the EPA allows its use in Louisiana, bald eagles, wood storks and other migratory birds will be at risk.

The widespread carbofuran use Louisiana is requesting will cause injury to wild birds and the environment, and will violate the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The EPA revoked a similar carbofuran exemption request by Louisiana in 2002 and requested that Louisiana withdraw another application in 2005.

This exemption is not needed because there are a number of economical and effective chemical and non-chemical alternatives and environmentally feasible management practices available to Louisiana rice growers to control these pests. Rice farmers can reduce rice water weevil infestations by early planting, delayed flooding, and draining of fields, and numerous less toxic pesticides posing much less risk to birds are effective against rice weevils.

Please send the sample letter below to the EPA urging them to deny any request to allow the use of carbofuran.

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