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Environment

Beekeepers Sue EPA Over Sulfoxaflor Pesticide

by Britt E. Erickson
July 15, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 28

A coalition of honey producers, beekeepers, and environmental groups is suing EPA over the agency’s approval of the pesticide sul­foxaflor. The groups claim that EPA failed to address chronic exposure of pollinator species, such as honeybees, to sulfoxaflor before it approved the pesticide on May 6. Sulfoxaflor’s mode of action is similar to that of imidacloprid and clothianidin, two neonicotinoid pesticides that have been under scrutiny because of concerns that they are harmful to bees. “EPA’s failure to adequately consider impacts to pollinators from these new pesticides is wreaking havoc on an important agricultural industry,” says Janette Brimmer, an attorney with Earth­justice, a public interest group that is representing the coalition in the lawsuit. EPA says that sulfoxaflor’s label includes information on how to protect pollinators.

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