Wednesday, May 22, 2019

EPA bans 12 pesticides linked to deaths of honeybees

As part of a legal settlement, the Environmental Protection Agency is banning 12 insecticides containing neonicotinoids, chemicals known to be toxic to honeybees. Ten are sold in the U.S.

"For years, beekeepers and wildlife conversationalists alike have voiced concern that the widespread use of neo-nics, as the chemicals are commonly called, is imperiling wild and domesticated bees crucial to pollinating commercial fruit, nut and vegetable crops," Dino Grandoni reports for The Washington Post.

EPA has pulled other neonics from the market before, but this is a rare action. "The decision follows five years of litigation in which the beekeepers and environmentalists pressed the agency to mount a response to the use of neonics as regulators in Europe and Canada have taken steps toward banning the chemicals," Grandoni reports. "Finally, at the end of 2018, three agribusinesses — Bayer, Syngenta and Valentagreed to let the EPA pull from shelves the 12 pesticide products used by growers ranging from large-scale agricultural businesses to home gardeners. The legal settlement also compels the EPA to analyze the impacts of the entire neo-nic class on endangered species."

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