EPA Approves “Emergency” Use of Banned Bee-Killing Insecticide On 13.9 Million Acres

EPA tells farmers to “go ahead” and spray unapproved insecticide known to kill bees on millions of acres of crops known to attract bees

The EPA has found a loophole for allowing banned pesticides to stay on the market: declaring annual “emergencies” to make exceptions for their use.

Technically, sulfoxaflor was banned in 2015, when the 9th Circuit Court agreed that the research on the pesticide showed it to be far too dangerous for bees and other pollinators.

However, the EPA has found a way around that ruling by overriding the ban in situations that they deem “emergencies.”

So far, the agency has declared every growing season since then “an emergency.”

What’s the emergency?

Tarnished plant bugs on cotton fields and strawberry fields and sugarcane aphids on sorghum, a crop used in livestock feeds.

Neither of these is a new problem. They are chronic problems associated with mono-crop agriculture that need long-term, sustainable solutions (like permaculture), not “emergencies” that can be solved with bandaids.

“The only emergency here is the Trump EPA’s reckless approval of this dangerous bee-killing pesticide,” said Lori Ann Burd, environmental health director for the Center for Biological Diversity in a press release. “It’s sickening that even amid the current insect apocalypse, the EPA’s priority is protecting pesticide industry profits.”

This author would like to point out “Obama’s EPA” did the same thing in 2015 and 2016.

According to the EPA’s own research, sulfoxaflor is “very highly toxic to bees.”

One of the Center for Biological Diversity’s biggest concerns is that the nearly 6 million acres in Texas the pesticide has been approved for is home to over 800 native bee species.

“It seems imperative to check that whatever ’emergency’ the pesticide is supposedly addressing deserves to take precedence over the emergencies that the same pesticide is creating by destroying the bee population,” says a petition to stop the use of sulfoxaflor.

“This country could withstand a lower cotton yield for a year, but the entirety of the agriculture industry may not recover from a lack of bees to pollinate.”

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