Ninth Circuit Stings EPA for Approving Bee-Killing Pesticide

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by Deborah Courson Smith

HELENA, Mont. – A pesticide that kills bees should not have been cleared for agricultural use by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a federal appeals court.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Dow Chemical's sulfoxaflor was not thoroughly researched when it comes to impacts on bees.

Michele Colopy, program director of the Pollinator Stewardship Council, one of the groups that filed the suit, said the chemical is proven to be highly toxic to bees and other pollinators – and those impacts need better assessment.

“EPA did not follow through with its own requirement of getting scientific-based evidence to prove that the pesticide was not going to adversely impact pollinators,” she said.

Pollination services are worth at least $20 billion a year in the United States, Colopy said.

There is a waiting period before the decision is final, and Dow could ask for a rehearing. Sulfoxaflor has been available in several name-brand pesticide mixtures for agricultural crops. It's a systemic neurotoxin that insects ingest when they suck, chew or collect nectar and pollen from a plant.

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Source:  Public News Service – MT


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