Without bees, many of the foods we regularly eat and enjoy would disappear off the face of the earth because they must be pollinated before they can produce fruit. Honey bees are dying at an alarming rate. Scientists are blaming a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids.
Unfortunately, the EPA has decided to register sulfoxaflor, a new neonicotinoid. The Center for Food Safety has filed a legal brief on behalf of many consumer and environmental groups against this decision. The brief states, “scientists have linked the drastic declines in honey bee and other pollinator populations to systemic pesticides known as neonicotinoids. Sulfoxaflor is a systemic pesticide with the same mode of action as neonicotinoids, that EPA determined is ‘very highly toxic’ to bees.”
The CFS brief claims that EPA did not analyze sulfoxaflor’s impacts, especially since pollinator populations are already highly stressed. The brief continues, “EPA’s decision considers only the alleged benefits of sulfoxaflor, while wholly ignoring the significant costs that registration will have on the agricultural economy, food security, and the environment. As such, EPA failed to show that the registration of sulfoxaflor will not cause any ‘unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.’”
The legal brief is joined by the Pollinator Stewardship Council, American Honey Producers Association, National Honey Bee Advisory Board, Friends of the Earth, National Family Farm Coalition, Sierra Club, Pesticide Action Network of North America, Center for Environmental Health, and the American Beekeeping Federation. The beekeeper’s case was filed as Case No. 13-72346, Pollinator Stewardship Council et al. v. U.S. EPA at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.