Emilie Hudson, Donna Ralston: Pesticides have value
POSTED: 03/07/2015 06:55:50 PM MST | UPDATED: 5 DAYS AGO
The debate over pest control often centers around one word: health.
The health of our households and public property so families can avoid known predators that impact their well-being. Healthy ecosystems and habitats that allow beneficial organisms — including bees — to thrive and prosper.
Protecting the health of our communities is a delicate balance and cannot be addressed haphazardly. Rebecca Dickson and Sue Anderson’s March 1 opinion piece “Systemic pesticides and you,” weighs heavily on my mind as it outlines many misunderstandings that impact how people feel about protecting the health and safety of our families and ecosystems.
One misconception about pesticide use is the assumption that pesticides are definitely the cause of colony collapse disorder and massive bee deaths. Scientists, regulatory authorities and industry professionals agree that bee health is a complex issue with research pointing to multiple factors affecting pollinators, including pests and parasites, microbial diseases, nutrition problems, bee management practices, and climate change, as well as pesticide use. We cannot protect bees and pollinators by ignoring other factors impacting their health.
As an industry, we are invested today in efforts to create more habitat for pollinators, particularly along rights-of way, as we partner with groups who carefully use pesticide solutions to ensure sustainable long-term habitats for various pollinators.
We cannot stress enough the level of detail, precision and caution that goes into the production of pesticides. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rigorously reviews all pesticides for potential health and environmental impact before any product can be made available for sale and use. Once a pesticide is registered, the EPA continues to study and evaluate its safety and effect on the public and environment.
Let’s not disregard the value these products offer. Instead, let’s commit to using these products responsibly to protect the health of our pollinators and communities.
Emilie Hudson and Donna Ralston
Colorado Arborists and Lawn Care Professionals