Appeals court blocks pesticide use over concerns about bees

Sep 11, 2015 5:14 PM by News Staff

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court has blocked the use of a pesticide over concerns about its effect on honey bees.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not adequately study the pesticide sulfoxaflor before approving its use in 2013 on a wide variety of crops, including citrus and cotton.

The 9th Circuit said initial studies showed sulfloxalor was highly toxic to honey bees, and the EPA was required to conduct further tests.

An after-hours call to a spokeswoman for the EPA was not immediately returned.

The 9th Circuit ruling said sulfloxalor is part of a group of insecticides known as neonicotinoids (NEE-OH-NIC-DUH-NIDES). Neonicotinoids are suspected of being among several factors that have contributed to the collapse of honey bee colonies throughout the U.S.

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