Beekeepers, conservation and food campaigners accuse Environmental Protection Agency of failing to protect the insects
The lawsuit accuses the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of failing to protect the insects – which pollinate three-quarters of all food crops – from nerve agents that it says should be suspended from use. Neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used insecticides, are also facing the prospect of suspension in the European Union, after the health commissioner pledged to press on with the proposed ban despite opposition from the UK and Germany.
The EPA declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said in a statement: “We are working aggressively to protect bees and other pollinators from pesticide risks through regulatory, voluntary and research programmes. Specifically, the EPA is accelerating the schedule for registration review of the neonicotinoid pesticides because of uncertainties about them and their potential effects on bees.” However, even the accelerated review will not be completed before 2018.