March 6, 2020
Environment Committee Hartford, CT 06106
Submitted by Pricilla Feral/ Friends of Animals
Re: Support for Raised Bill 301
On behalf of Friends of Animals, an international nonprofit wildlife and animal protection organization with 6,000 members statewide, I want to thank the committee for this hearing and voice our support for Raised Bill 301 which would ban the sale and application of chlorpyrifos by 2021 and upon passage, prohibit its use on golf courses, at country clubs and near schools.
Friends of Animals, incorporated in 1957, places critical habitat and wildlife protection at the core of its mission and this insecticide is toxic to wildlife, including our very important pollinators. It is vital Connecticut step up and take action to ban its use as California and Hawaii have done.
Chlorpyrifos, which is a nerve toxin in the same class of chemicals as sarin gas, was introduced by Dow Chemical in the U.S. for use in homes and farms. But studies pretty quickly indicated that the chemical was harmful.
In the 1970s studies showed that chlorpyrifos was very toxic to birds, bees, and fish. Home use of chlorpyrifos was banned in the U.S. in 2000. In 2017, an analysis by the staff of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as reported in the New York Times concluded that the pesticide was “high toxicity” for all animals and its effect on endangered species would be both direct and indirect via contamination of food sources.
The study noted that the San Joaquin kit fox was disappearing because of pesticide contamination of their food supply of grass and birds and has become one of the top 10 species most threatened by pesticide use according the Endangered Species Coalition.
The Cape Sable Seaside sparrow, another endangered species was also found to be in jeopardy as a result of drifting sprays of chlorpyrifos. “For many vulnerable species a single exposure could be catastrophic,’’ the EPA analysis stated.
Last year the federal government’s top fisheries experts issued a report saying that the pesticide and two others — diazinon and malathion — were washing into streams and rivers and harming wildlife, such as endangered species of salmon. In short, chlorpyrifos and other pesticides are putting 1,399 species – a mixture of animals and plants — out of a total of 1,663 in jeopardy.
Yet, this chemical continues to be used across the state on golf courses, farms and nurseries. Enacting this ban would protect species at a time when more than one million are at risk of extinction. It’s critical for the survival of the planet to protect bees and other vital pollinators.
CT should join other states who have put safety of species, the environment and the planet ahead of profits.
Friends of Animals, an international animal protection organization founded in N.Y. in 1957 and headquartered in Darien, CT, advocates for the rights of free-living and domestic animals. FoA is proud to be a woman-founded and -led organization for more than 60 years.