Neonicotinoid insecticides approved in California that have been shown to hurt honey bees violates the law, alleges environmental groups that have filed a lawsuit against the state.
The groups, The Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides and the Pesticide Action Network North America, are seeking an injunction to stop California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation from approving any more neonicotinoid insecticides or approving new uses for them unless further evaluations have been conducted.
“The environmental and food safety non-profit groups also seek to overturn the department’s recent approval of expanded use of Venom Insecticide, manufactured by Valent USA, a unit of Sumitomo Chemical Co Ltd, and Dinotefuran 20SG, made by Mitsui Chemicals Agro,” reports Reuters.
Several types of neonicotinoid insecticides have been banned in Europe because of the link with honey bee deaths and colony collapse disorder. The loss of honeybees and other pollinators has serious repercussions for the food system, which relies heavily on insect pollination. An estimated one-quarter of all food is the result of pollinators, including almonds, apples and melons.
“Neonics are sold by agrichemical companies to boost yields of staple crops such as corn, but they are also widely used on annual and perennial plants in lawns and gardens,” explains Reuters. “Over the past few years, bees have been dying at a rate the U.S. government says is economically unsustainable. The White House last month said it was forming a task force to study how to reverse the rapid decline in the number of honeybees.”
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