Trump Administration Approves Previously Banned Bee-Killing Pesticide

With colony collapse disorder wiping out the bee population and threatening entire ecosystems, it would seem that we should be especially careful about the pesticides we spray. Alas, the Trump EPA has decided to grant exceptions for a known bee-killing pesticide anyway.

The EPA has decided that sulfoxaflor, a pesticide that the government itself has designated “very highly toxic” to bees, can be used in 11 states on roughly 14 million acres of crops — particularly for cotton and sorghum, a grain typically used to feed livestock.

Technically, sulfoxaflor was banned four years ago when the 9th Circuit Court agreed that the research on the pesticide showed it to be far too dangerous. However, the EPA has found a way around that ruling by overriding the ban in situations that they deem an “emergency.”

Is it really an emergency, though? Most of these states have received the same exemption for the last few years, and this issue isn’t one that popped up suddenly. Instead, it’s the White House’s indefinite solution for allowing its friends who manufacture to sulfoxaflor to keep doing business, despite the ban.

“The only emergency here is the Trump EPA’s reckless approval of this dangerous bee-killing pesticide,” said Ann Burd, environmental health director at the Center of Biological Diversity. “It’s sickening that even admit the current insect apocalypse, the EPA’s priority is protecting pesticide industry profits.”

The problem of approving banned pesticides due to “emergencies” is a chronic one for the EPA, sadly. The agency is very much in the habit of just rubber-stamping these kinds of approvals without conducting formal reviews or even determining the effectiveness of overriding the ban.

Especially in situations where sulfoxaflor is being used for years and years, it seems imperative to check that whatever “emergency” the pesticide is supposedly addressing deserves to take precedence over the emergencies that the same pesticide is creating by destroying the bee population. The EPA is only considering one emergency rather than total damage.

This country could withstand a lower cotton yield for a year, but the entirety of the agriculture industry may not recover from a lack of bees to pollinate.

One of the Center for Biological Diversity’s biggest concerns is the 5.8 million acres in Texas approved for sulfoxaflor that is the home to over 800 bee species. “The Trump EPA is allowing potentially catastrophic harm to imperiled insect populations,” said Burd. “It’s hard to imagine how much more evidence could possibly be needed for the agency to wake up to the damage they are causing.”

Sadly, with the disdain this administration shows for science, it’s hard to imagine that any amount of research will convince the EPA to take a different approach. Hopefully the next administration will understand that no temporary emergency is worth unbalancing the entire ecosystem over.

247 comments

Martin H
Martin H19 hours ago

Let the bees be.

SEND
Alea C
Alea C20 hours ago

The orange stain strikes again!!!

SEND
Alea C
Alea C20 hours ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Ben O
Ben Oyesterday

When idiots rule... : ~ (

SEND
Leo C
Leo Custeryesterday

Thank you for sharing!

SEND
Martin H
Martin H2 days ago

A poor decision.

SEND
Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill2 days ago

THanks

SEND
Danuta W
Danuta W2 days ago

Thank you for sharing

SEND
Jacob S
Jacob S2 days ago

thanks for posting

SEND
Christine V
Christine V2 days ago

Sad

SEND