Credit to www.centerforfoodsafety.org – May 10, 2017 – In response to a case Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed four years ago, a Federal Court ruled last night that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) systematically violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) – a key wildlife protection law – when it approved bee-killing insecticides known as neonicotinoids, finding that EPA had unlawfully issued 59 pesticide approvals between 2007 and 2012. This is great news.
The nation’s beekeepers continue to suffer unacceptable annual bee mortality of 40 percent and higher. Water contamination by these insecticides is virtually out of control. Wild pollinators and wetland-dependent birds are in danger.
The bad news is that seeds coated with bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides are now used on more than 150 million acres of U.S. corn, soybeans, cotton and other crops – totaling an area bigger than the state of California and Florida combined – the largest use of any insecticides in the country by far.
Neonicotinoids are a class of highly toxic insecticides designed to damage the central nervous system of insects, causing tremors, paralysis and death at even very low doses. Since the mid-2000s, their use has skyrocketed. Neonicotinoids are applied via sprays, soil drenches, tree injections and other methods. However, by far their greatest use in terms of U.S. land area affected is as a coating on crop seeds – a process by which pesticides are mixed together with large batches of seeds in order to coat them before the seeds are planted.
Now we head back to court to determine the correct remedy for EPA’s illegal actions. CFS will be there every step of the way to force EPA to protect bees and the environment, and urge the court to cancel the 59 bee-toxic pesticides EPA unlawfully approved