Quantcast
Connect with us

Groups sue Trump’s EPA in response to ‘nauseating’ approval of bee-killing pesticide

Published

on

“Pure pro-pesticide politics.”

A pair of environmental groups on Tuesday filed suit against the President Donald Trump administration over the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent approval of expanded use of the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor across 200 million acres in 12 states.

The Center for Food Safety and the Center for Biological Diversity filed the suit (pdf) in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against the EPA and agency administrator Andrew Wheeler.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a statement, George Kimbrell, legal director at the Center for Food Safety, said the decision to allow the pesticide was “pure pro-pesticide politics.”

“Trump’s EPA can’t justify throwing our already imperiled pollinators under the bus,” said Kimbrell. “That’s why the agency offered no chance for the public or independent researchers to comment. And that’s why we’re suing them.”

According to a press release announcing the litigation:

ADVERTISEMENT

Today’s lawsuit, filed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, contends that before approving the sweeping new uses of sulfoxaflor, the EPA failed in its legal duty to compile “substantial evidence” required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. FIFRA, as it’s known, is the federal law underpinning the U.S. system of pesticide regulation, designed to protect applicators, consumers, and the environment.

The EPA also violated its duty to ensure that its approval of sulfoxaflor doesn’t jeopardize the continued existence of endangered species by consulting on the effects of its actions with wildlife experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service.

Under the new approval, sulfoxaflor can be used on alfalfa, cacao, corn, cotton, grains, pineapple, sorghum, soybeans, and strawberries as well as on tree plantations, ornamental crops, and citrus orchards.

As Common Dreams reported on July 8, the EPA made the decision to allow use of the pesticide on June 20 and the Trump administration followed up in early July by announcing a halt on the collection of data on declining honey bee populations.

The consequences of such a move could be disastrous for the environment. Bees are important pollinators, and their population has declined in recent years.

According to reporting from HuffPost:

The number of honey bee hives, vital to pollinating crops for the agricultural industry and other plants for wildlife, plummeted from 6 million in 1947 to 2.4 million in 2008. The worst honeybee hive loss on record occurred last winter as beekeepers reported a 40% loss of their colonies over the year.

In Brazil, as Common Dreams reported earlier Tuesday, use of pesticides has led to the deaths of at least half a billion bees.

Lori Ann Burd, the director of the environmental health program at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement that the approval of the pesticide was a terrible mistake, “even for Trump’s EPA.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“While leading scientists and countries across the globe are calling for eliminating harmful neonicotinoid pesticides like sulfoxaflor, Team Trump is cheerfully promoting its use like a corporate PR firm,” said Burd. “It’s nauseating.”

by

ADVERTISEMENT

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

Published

on

President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

Published

on

As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

The real story behind Trump’s new lawsuit against the New York Times

Published

on

Wednesday was an ominous day for freedom of the press in this country, and I want to tell you why.

You may have heard or seen that President Trump filed a libel suit against the New York Times. Perhaps you weren’t surprised: the president is known to frequently disparage the Times even as he reads it obsessively. Borrowing a page from what I’ve referred to before as a Mount Rushmore of totalitarians, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Trump loves to call the press the “enemy of the people.”

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image