Earlier today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the agency would approve and expand allowable uses for the pesticide sulfoxaflor, a close cousin to neonicotinoids, which are known to pose a serious threat to the health of bees and other pollinators. This decision reverses EPA’s own 2015 ban on sulfoxaflor.
In response to legal action from beekeepers and other advocates, in 2015 the courts ruled EPA had relied on “flawed and limited data” to approve the registration of sulfoxaflor, citing the “precariousness of bee populations.” Today’s announcement comes on the heels of last week’s decision by the Trump administration to stop tracking honeybee colony counts.
Kristin Schafer, Executive Director for Pesticide Action Network, released the following statement:
EPA’s decision to re-approve and expand the use of sulfoxaflor is bad news for bees, beekeepers, farmers and our food system. Everyone who enjoys the many fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown in the United States should be concerned about today’s decision.
Despite strong opposition from the scientific community and advocates, the agency has once again relied on industry-funded information in their decisionmaking. EPA should follow the science rather than kowtowing to the pesticide corporations. The scientific evidence is clear, and alternatives are available. The fact is, our pollinators are in crisis; it’s time to be taking bee-toxic pesticides like sulfoxaflor off the market, not expanding their use.
Contact: Ahna Kruzic, Communications and Media Director, (510) 927-5379
Pesticide Action Network works to create a just, thriving food system. PAN works alongside those on the frontlines of pesticide exposure — from farmworkers to rural communities to beekeepers. PAN links local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens’ action network. Together, we challenge the global proliferation of pesticides, defend basic rights to health and environmental quality, and work to ensure the transition to a just and viable food system.