Trump Administration Ends GMO and Pesticide Policy at Wildlife Refuges

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This past week, the Trump administration ended an environmental protection at national wildlife refuges that has been put in place during the Obama administration. Under the Obama administration, genetically modified crops known as GMOs were not allowed in wildlife refuges that allowed for private farming. The Obama administration had also banned the use of neonicotinide pesticides. These pesticides are believed to be among the worst contributors to the declining bee populations throughout the world. The new Trump administration guidelines will once again allow these pesticides to be used on crops planted in national wildlife refuges.

Some people may be shocked to realize that private farm crops are allowed to be planted and harvested in national wildlife refuges in the first place. This practice has occurred for several years. The purpose is to allow for cover and habitat for certain species. Some crops also provide a limited food source for animals at the wildlife refuge.

Under the new Trump administration rules, even more land will be allowed to be put into farm usage. Part of the reason for this is that the administration wants to create more duck and goose cover so that these populations expand. The reason that they want the expansion is so that there will be additional hunting opportunities at national wildlife refuges. In fact, the Trump administration has been slowly gearing its wildlife policies to a focus on hunting and hunters.

Environmental and wildlife conservation groups are outraged at the new Trump administration rules. They point to the fact that neonicotinids are actually in the process of being banned in many nations around the world due to the fact that scientists in these nations know very well the effects that these type of pesticides have on bees.

Originally, wildlife and environmental groups had to bring a lawsuit to get the Obama administration rules put into effect. These groups are certain to challenge the Trump administration rules in the courts. It could once again be a long and drawn out process.

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