Sensible Pesticide Policies Needed for Invasive Pests

California’s agricultural sector, a cornerstone of the nation’s food supply, faces significant threats from invasive pests and diseases, which endanger crops, ecosystems, and biodiversity. Effective pest management is crucial, as pests like the varroa destructor mites and Mediterranean fruit flies cause billions in annual losses. 

When used judiciously, pesticides play a vital role in combating these threats. However, the lengthy and costly approval process for new pesticides hampers timely response to emerging challenges. Balancing traditional and new pest control methods, guided by scientific evidence, is essential for maintaining agricultural resilience, food security, and environmental health. 

“Developing and approving new pesticides is time-consuming and expensive for registrants, often requiring more than a decade and hundreds of millions of dollars before a product can be brought to market. This includes a five- to seven-year review process by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with more than 300 health and environmental peer-reviewed studies, followed by duplicative California-specific evaluations, another set of studies, and an extended timeline of another five or more years.”

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An expansive view of a soybean farm's agricultural field against a picturesque sky.


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