Passionate Environmentalist (1):
"As a representative of a St. Lucie County's Environmental Advocacy Group I would like to stress our complete support to the passing of the EPA's funding bill with a rider that would stop the regulation of the bacterium Bacillus thuringienis (Bt). Bt is a natural, non-chemical alternative to help local farmers and foresters fight common pests. Everyday there are tons of chemicals dumped upon the land with the intent to destroy several of sometimes a single species of pests. However, these chemical pesticides are rarely species specific and end up sterilizing the entire region. This eliminates several very important lower levels of the food chain. Bt has been designed so that it can be injected as a protein into the specific plants the pest is hosting on.
The only reason that a huge biotech firm like Monsanto wants to see the continuing regulation of such low impact and environmentally sensitive pesticides is to eliminate competition from smaller local biotech firms. Many of these smaller biotech firms are owned and operated by people who have been raised in the region they are serving. This "hometown" attitude tends to encourage a feeling of positive land stewardship practice on the part of the landowner and his neighbors. Here in St. Lucie County, we would like to see our local farmers and citrus producers become more sensitive to the environment on a regional scale.
It is true that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) directs the EPA to take the economic impact of a product into consideration during the approval process. But the main objective of the Act is to prohibit the distribution, sale, or transfer, of any unregistered pesticide. It is time that the EPA remember that at the bottom of all the bureaucracy remains the health of the environment. By deregulating the use of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) we will not only be helping small biotech firms, but also the overall health of the environment."