The Environmental Protection Agency is pulling from the market a dozen products containing pesticides known to be toxic to a linchpin of the U.S. food system — the honeybee.
The agency announced [May 20th] [pdf] it has canceled the registrations of 12 pest-killing products with compounds belonging to a class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids, as part of a legal settlement.
For years, beekeepers and wildlife conversationalists alike have voiced concern that the widespread use of neonics, as the chemicals are commonly called, is imperiling wild and domesticated bees crucial to pollinating commercial fruit, nut and vegetable crops.
The Trump administration’s action was welcome news to some environmentalists. “Certainly we have a ways to go,” said George Kimbrell, legal director at the nonprofit advocacy group Center for Food Safety, whose lawsuit prompted the EPA’s action. “But it’s an important first step in acknowledging the harm they cause.”
The twelve pesticides are made by only three companies; one of them, Bayer, says that its two neonic products are not sold in the US.