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Environmentalists and beekeepers prepare to sue EPA

Environmentalists and beekeepers prepare to sue EPA

The Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, the Sierra Club, and four commercial beekeepers will sue EPA if the agency does not enter into formal consultation with the FWS regarding the registrations of clothianidin and thiamethoxam, both neonicotinoid insecticides.

The Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, the Sierra Club, and four commercial beekeepers filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue EPA if the agency does not enter into formal consultation with the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) within that timeframe regarding the registrations of clothianidin and thiamethoxam, both neonicotinoid insecticides.

The groups are alleging that EPA violated Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by failing to ensure, through consultation with FWS, that the registrations of clothianidin and thiamethoxam products are “not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any threatened or endangered species” or adversely modify the critical habitat of any federally listed species and that 18 threatened or endangered insects may be affected by uses of the insecticides. The groups also expressed concern over the impact these insecticides may have on honeybees and other insect pollinators.

EPA has approved 86 products containing either clothianidin or thiamethoxam in the past 12 years, including products registered for use on cotton.

In July, EPA denied a request filed by Beyond Pesticides, the Pesticide Action Network, and the Center for Food Safety for the emergency suspension of clothianidin products based on the products' toxicity risk to bee populations. The agency found that there is “insufficient data” to support an imminent hazard finding under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act.

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