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.
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:
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:
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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.”
“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.”