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US officials reverse course on pesticide's harm to wildlife

Pesticide Wildlife
Posted at 3:51 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 18:51:53-05

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. wildlife officials have reversed their previous finding that a widely used and highly toxic pesticide could jeopardize dozens of plants and animals with extinction.

The move comes after government officials received pledges from chemical manufacturers to change product labels for the pesticide malathion so that it’s used more carefully by consumers.

Officials had said last year malathion could threaten the continued existence of 78 imperiled species.

They now say its use on crops and home gardens could cause limited harm to many species, but is unlikely to jeopardize them with extinction.

The finding depends on farmers and gardeners abiding by labels with instructions on where and when to use malathion.