EU bans outdoor use of neonicotinoids on crops

The member nations of the EU voted for a near-total ban of neonicotinoid insecticides, over the objections of farmers and pesticide manufacturers. Known as neonics, the chemicals are the most widely used class of insecticides in the world and have been linked by scientific studies to the decline in honeybees and other pollinators, said BBC News.

U.S. judge rules EPA pesticide applicator regulation is in effect

The Trump administration improperly and repeatedly delayed the pesticide applicator rule issued by the EPA in early 2017, decided U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, who declared the rule to be in effect.

In Roundup case, federal judge vets the experts for testimony

A federal lawsuit alleging Monsanto’s top-selling weed killer, Roundup, causes cancer is at a pivotal moment as the presiding judge deliberates on which scientific experts will be permitted to testify before a jury. A verdict preventing key experts from linking Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma could deliver a disastrous blow to the case filed by farmers, landscapers, and consumers suffering from cancer. No paywall

House bill would suspend use of neonicotinoid insecticides

Two Democratic lawmakers unveiled legislation to suspend the use of neonicotinoid insecticides, with the goal of reducing high mortality rates of honeybees and other pollinating species.

Pesticide applicators warned Illinois about potential dicamba damage

The Illinois Department of Agriculture was warned a year ago about the potential crop damage that could be caused by the herbicide dicamba if the department didn’t tighten regulations on its use, says a report by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

EPA will review minimum-age rule on handling pesticides

A 2015 update of the EPA’s Agricultural Worker Protection Standard required that farmworkers who handle or apply pesticides be at least 18 years old. The EPA now says it “has initiated a process to revise certain requirements in the WPS.”

EPA may revise rule protecting farmworkers from pesticides

The EPA is considering changes to a 2015 rule that requires pesticide handlers to be at least 18 years old and bars the application of pesticides if farmworkers are nearby, said Bloomberg.

Monsanto halts sale of new pesticide after skin complaints

After users complained of skin irritation, including rashes, Monsanto is delaying until further notice the launch of NemaStrike — a new farm chemical used to kill worms on corn, soybeans and cotton. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did extensive evaluations of the product before approving it for use, according to Monsanto, which has described NemaStrike as ‘blockbuster technology,’” reports Reuters. Monsanto argues that some of its field testers may have been using the spray incorrectly or not wearing the proper protection.

Illegal pot farms wreak havoc on national forests

Mexican drug cartels, operating illegal marijuana farms on public lands, are polluting forests and saddling the federal government with millions of dollars in clean-up costs. Trespass marijuana farms are thought to number in the hundreds of thousands in California alone. The sites “wreak havoc on the land, leaving behind hundreds of thousands of pounds of garbage, leaching caustic chemicals, polluting watersheds, and damaging the habitat of endangered and at-risk species,” reports High Country News.