Just days after another federal agency suspended its periodical study of honey bee populations, the EPA greenlighted the wider use of a pesticide that environmental activists warn could further decimate the pollinators. A major conservation group says it will take the agency to court over this.
Permitting the broader use of the pesticide sulfoxaflor, was a move the EPA made following a request by chemical manufacturer Dow AgroSciences LLC.
“EPA is providing long-term certainty for U.S. growers to use an important tool to protect crops and avoid potentially significant economic losses, while maintaining strong protection for pollinators,” Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
The EPA approval of sulfoxaflor follows a decision by the Agriculture Department last week to suspend its study of bee populations, a tool that beekeepers use to track the decline of colonies. The USDA cited limited “fiscal and program resources” as justification for its decision to stop collecting the data.
Dow Chemical Co., the former parent of Dow AgroSciences, gave US president Trump $1 million for his 2017 inauguration, according to data compiled by OpenSecrets.org, a project of the Center for Responsive Politics.