For immediate release: January 21, 2015
Contact: Paul Towers, PAN
As concerns about bee declines mount, EPA announced earlier today the approval of another neonicotinoid pesticide, flupyradifurone. This chemical acts on the same nicotinyl acetylcholine receptors in bee’s brains that are now known to cause harmful effects. In its public statement about the pesticide registration, EPA called the pesticide “safer” than other neonics, contrary to evidence. The pesticide’s chemical structure is very similar to imidacloprid, another neonicotinoid which has been linked to bee-harming impacts, including decreased foraging, impaired mobility and impaired communication. That insecticide was approved by the agency in 1994.
Emily Marquez, PhD, staff scientist for Pesticide Action Network, released the following statement:
"EPA's decision to register yet another bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticide flies in the face of the science. The new insecticide, flupyradifurone, is virtually identical to its older counterparts, and a step in the wrong direction. The agency's own assessment points to problems with flupyradifurone, both alone and in combination with other pesticides."
"Instead of investing in meaningful solutions and truly safe alternatives, the agency continues to approve hazardous pesticides. Given the continuing dramatic declines in bee populations, and EPA's responsibility to lead the White House Pollinator Health Task Force, the agency should hardly be approving another bee-toxic pesticide for market."