30 May 2019
EPA Cancels Registration of 12 Neonicotinoid Pesticides
The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued an order cancelling the registration of 12 neonicotinoid pesticides after the registrants filed a voluntary request to withdraw these pesticides from the U.S. market. According to the non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organisation Center for Food Safety, this decision was required as part of a December 2018 agreement settling a case litigated during 2013-2018 on behalf of a coalition of conservationists and beekeepers over the EPA’s alleged failure to protect pollinators, beekeepers and endangered species from these pesticides. The second part of the legal settlement will require the EPA to analyse and address the impacts of the entire neonicotinoid pesticide class on endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.
The Center for Food Safety adds that the cancelled pesticides are a relatively new class of products known as neonicotinoid pesticides, or “neonics.” These pesticides interfere with the nervous system of insects, causing tremors, paralysis and eventual death even when administered at very low doses. Bees and other pollinators are exposed to these toxic chemicals through pollen, nectar, dust, dew droplets on plant leaves, and in the soil where many native bee species nest.