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EPA to Allow Use of Pesticide Dangerous to Bees

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Monday it’ll permit states to make use of a pesticide that’s dangerous to bees.

The company made an emergency exemption for 11 states to make use of sulfoxafloron cotton and sorghum crops.

“The one emergency right here is the Trump EPA’s reckless approval of this harmful bee-killing pesticide,” Lori Ann Burd, environmental health chief at the Center for Biological Diversity, stated in a press release. “It’s putrid that even amid the present insect apocalypse, the EPA’s precedence is defending pesticide industry earnings.”

A study revealed in Nature last year discovered sulfoxaflor repressed bumblebee reproduction.

In response to the Center for Biological Diversity, the emergency decree has been used for four consecutive years in a lot of the states.

Sulfoxaflor’s use was briefly barred after a lawsuit from beekeepers in 2015; however, the EPA in 2016 modified its directions for how to use the pesticide in a method designed to scale back the impact on bees. Cotton and sorghum weren’t included in the order.

The EPA’s Office of Inspector General wrote in a report in 2018 that the company didn’t have procedures in place to determine how its emergency measures affect human and environmental wellbeing.

An EPA spokesperson mentioned the emergency exception was granted with public security in mind, in addition to the requirements of farmers.

“This decision is based in part on data from the states manifesting an urgent requirement and an absence of available alternatives to deal with the pest pressures within their states. Mitigation measures can be put in place to reduce exposure and reduce the potential for unreasonable threats to the surroundings. The approvals embody advisory rules for protecting bees, and customers should further comply with all existing EPA rules for pollinator protection,” an EPA spokesperson said.

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