US Beekeepers File Lawsuit Against EPA To Save Bees From Deadly Pesticides

American beekeepers are fed up with President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wantonly approving pesticides that are deadly to bees, so they have banded together to file a lawsuit.

Earlier this year, the EPA reluctantly agreed to take several pesticides off the market that were linked to bee deaths.

The population of bees around the globe has been in free-fall because of the increased usage of such poisons, threatening a major pollinator that is responsible for approximately 35 percent of our food supply, and many of the foods we love are dependent on the existence of bees.

But rather than continue helping the bees recover by continuing to remove harmful pesticides from the market, the EPA is busy approving as many as they can, including those containing sulfoxaflor.

Manufactured by agrochemical giant Corteva, the EPA apparently ignored warnings by scientists and experts that the dangerous chemical is linked to mass bee deaths.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had previously overturned EPA approval of the chemical because proper studies were not performed, so the EPA placed restrictions on usage in a victory for bees. But this past July, the Trump administration removed the restrictions without public notice and has since approved wide-usage of sulfoxaflor, much to the horror of beekeepers whose livelihoods depend on these pollinators.

Together with Earthjustice, the Pollinator Stewardship Council and the American Beekeeper Federation have filed a new lawsuit to force the EPA to pull the chemical once again.

“Honeybees and other pollinators are dying in droves because of insecticides like sulfoxaflor, yet the Trump administration removes restriction just to please the chemical industry,” Earthjustice attorney Greg Loarie said in a statement. “This is illegal and an affront to our food system, economy, and environment.”

Indeed, bees do more than just pollinate our food. They are also responsible for pollinating flowers, trees and other plants that we have apparently taken for granted. Without bees, we would lose many of these plants, exacerbating a global reduction in plant species caused by climate change.

The EPA apparently relied on industry studies to reach their decision. Industry studies are typically biased because in-house scientists are paid by the company and could be pressured to write favorable reviews regardless of what the science says. That’s why independent scientists and other experts should be given top priority, especially the beekeepers.

“It is inappropriate for EPA to solely rely on industry studies to justify bringing sulfoxaflor back into our farm fields,” said Michele Colopy of the Pollinator Stewardship Council. “Die-offs of tens of thousands of bee colonies continue to occur and sulfoxaflor plays a huge role in this problem. EPA is harming not just the beekeepers, their livelihood, and bees, but the nation’s food system.”

Farmers can certainly grow crops without having to resort to using harmful pesticides. They’ve done it before, they can do it again. There are plenty of strategies they can employ to keep pests away without killing bees in the process. They just have to be willing to use them instead of relying on pesticides that will end up hurting their own ability to grow crops in the future. Because without bees, farmers will go out of business.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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