California Charged with 'Rubber-Stamping' Pesticides Linked to Bee Deaths
Environmental groups on Tuesday called out the state of California for illegally pushing new agricultural uses for certain pesticides despite mounting evidence that they are devastating honeybee populations.
A suit (pdf) filed by Earthjustice charges that the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is “rubber-stamping” the approval of new pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids or neonics, “without first complying with laws enacted to ensure that they are safe.”
“DPR has been saying for five years that neonicotinoid pesticides may be killing California’s honey bees, and yet the agency allows more and more of these pesticides to be used each year,” said Greg Loarie, an attorney at Earthjustice. In 2009, DPR began a scientific review of neonics in response to overwhelming evidence that linked the pesticides to bee decline.
The legal challenge, which was filed in the California Superior Court for the County of Alameda, demands that the court review DPR’s June 13 decision to expand the use of two powerful neonics, known as Venom Insecticide and Dinotefuran 20SG, despite the office’s still-pending review of their impact to pollinators.
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