Lawsuit challenges EPA over pesticide-coated seeds

Renewing a fight that began five years ago, two environmental groups have sued the EPA to force it to regulate pesticide-coated seeds in the name of protecting bees and other pollinators. Seeds coated with neonicotinoid insecticides are used on 80 percent of corn land and 40 percent of soybean land, although researchers question their value against late-emerging crop pests.

Senate bill would ban broad swath of pesticides

The United States would ban the use of two classes of insecticides—organophosphates and neonicotinoids—and the herbicide paraquat under a bill unveiled by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey on Monday. More than 100 pesticides would be affected, including chlorpyrifos, recently slated by the EPA for termination as an agricultural aid.

‘Murder hornet’ nest is found in Northwest for second time

State wildlife officials expect to destroy a nest of the Asian giant hornets in the northwestern corner of Washington State this week, and say "there may still be more" nests of the so-called murder hornet in the area near the Canadian border. It was the second time within a year that a nest of the hornets, a threat to honeybees, was found in Whatcom County.

EPA to ban agricultural use of chlorpyrifos

Ending 14 years of regulatory and court battles, the EPA announced on Wednesday that it would ban agricultural use of the insecticide chlorpyrifos, which has been linked to learning disorders and can cause nausea, dizziness, and confusion. Regulators ended residential use of the pesticide, which works by attacking the nervous systems of insects, two decades ago.

EPA is given 60 days to ban or modify rules for chlorpyrifos

After blasting the EPA for "13 years of interminable delay," the federal appeals court in San Francisco on Thursday set a 60-day deadline for the agency to either ban agricultural use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos or set newer and safer exposure levels for the chemical. The dissenter in the 2-1 decision said the short time frame "virtually guarantees" a ban.

Neonics, already in the regulatory crosshairs, now suspected of harming mammals, birds and fish

Scores of studies have established that neonicotinoids, the most widely used pesticides in the world, are contributing to the steady decline of bees and other insects across North America and Europe. Now evidence is growing that these compounds, tailored to take out invertebrates, can also harm mammals, birds, and fish, as Elizabeth Royte explains in FERN's latest story, published with National Geographic.(No paywall)

First 100 days: It’s Biden’s EPA now. What does that mean for the agrochemical industry? 

Hours after his inauguration, President Biden issued an executive order to review 48 actions by the Trump-era Environmental Protection Agency, including several controversial decisions on agricultural chemicals. Environmental and food safety groups saw the action as a welcome sign that the Biden EPA will begin to temper what they see as the agency's industry-friendly stance and prioritize the environment, public health, and science. (No paywall)

EPA reduces exclusion zone around pesticide applicators

The EPA finalized a regulation on Thursday that reduces the size of the buffer zones intended to protect people from pesticides being applied on the farm. EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said the new regulation would be simpler and easier to follow than its predecessor.

Sweeping U.S. pesticide reform bill introduced, banning some chemical agents

The Protect America’s Children From Toxic Pesticides Act of 2020, introduced on Tuesday by Sen. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, and Rep. Joe Neguse, a Democrat of Colorado, would overhaul the nation’s framework for regulating the sale and use of pesticides to safeguard public health and …