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Policy

Registration Of Dow Neonicotinoid Voided

by Cheryl Hogue
September 14, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 36

A federal court last week struck down EPA’s approval of the insecticide sulfoxaflor, citing the neonicotinoid’s possible risk to bees. EPA’s 2013 decision to register sulfoxaflor “was based on flawed and limited data,” a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found. “Given the precariousness of bee populations, leaving the EPA’s registration of sulfoxaflor in place risks more potential environmental harm” than does striking it down, the panel ruled. The court ordered the agency to obtain further data on the chemical’s effects on bees before deciding whether to reapprove Dow AgroSciences’ registration of sulfoxaflor, which has been sold under the trade names Transform and Closer. Commercial beekeeping trade groups and individual professional beekeepers, represented by the environmental group Earthjustice, brought the suit against EPA shortly after the agency gave an unconditional green light to the chemical. Dow AgroSciences says it will complete additional studies to support the registration of sulfoxaflor and is weighing possible appeal of the court decision.

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