Four years after an adverse ruling by a federal appeals court, the EPA approved the insecticide sulfoxaflor for use on a wide variety of crops, saying the chemical posed less of a risk to honeybees than previously thought. The law firm that won the 2015 ruling said the EPA decision "to remove restrictions on yet another bee-killing pesticide is nothing short of reckless."
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.
Last November, the EPA cancelled the registration of the pesticide sulfoxaflor, a step required by a U.S. appeals court decision. However, the agency has now granted an emergency exemption sought by the Texas Department of Agriculture for use of sulfoxaflor this year against the sugarcane aphid on up to 3 million acres of sorghum, said Agri-Pulse.
In the wake of an appellate court decision, the EPA barred the sale or distribution in the U.S. of sulfoxaflor, a pesticide used on produce but toxic to honeybees.