EPA proposing to reapprove use of neonics

Image of tractor in field.

(Center for Biological Diversity) Rather than banning the pesticides, the EPA is proposing a number of modest measures to limit their harm, including reductions in amounts applied to crops and restrictions on when they can be applied to blooming crops. A major scientific review published in 2019 found that a “serious reduction in pesticide usage” is key to preventing the extinction of up to 41 percent of the world’s insects within the “next few” decades. Thousands of scientific studies implicate neonics as key contributors to declining pollinator populations. The EPA’s own scientists have found that neonics pose far-reaching risks to bees, birds and aquatic invertebrates.

EPA used ’emergency’ loophole to approve pesticides toxic to bees on millions of acres in 2019

Image of honey bees on frame.

(Center for Biological Diversity) The Environmental Protection Agency reported that in 2019 it issued so-called “emergency” approvals to spray neonicotinoids — pesticides the agency itself recognizes as “very highly toxic” to bees. The great majority of those approvals were issued for the neonicotinoid called sulfoxaflor, prior to the EPA’s July decision to permanently expand its use. That decision, which obviates the need for further emergency approvals, has prompted multiple lawsuits from beekeepers, food-safety and conservation advocates.

EPA argues its blog isn’t public information, won’t change post praising its work protecting pollinators

Image of EPA logo on window.

(The Hill) The Environmental Protection Agency won’t tweak a recent blog post environmentalists say is inaccurate. The tension stems from a June post on the agency’s blog that includes apparent praise for EPA action on pesticides considered harmful to bees. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a complaint under the Information Quality Act, which can be used to demand a correction of inaccurate information from government sources. The center’s complaint came in the wake of an EPA decision in July to expand the use of sulfoxaflor, a pesticide the agency previous said was very highly toxic to bees. In response, EPA has argued that the blog post is not considered public information and, therefore, not subject to the guidelines.