EPA allows pesticide ‘very highly toxic’ to bees

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency approved broad new applications Friday for a controversial insecticide, despite objections from environmental groups and beekeepers who say it is among the compounds responsible for eviscerating the nation’s bee populations.

Alexandra Dunn, head of the EPA office that oversees pesticides, said the agency was “thrilled” to be able to approve new uses and lift past restrictions on sulfoxaflor, which she called a “highly effective” tool for growers around the country — but which the agency itself considers “very highly toxic” to bees. The decision will allow the chemical to be applied to a wide range of crops, including citrus and corn, soybeans and strawberries, pineapples and pumpkins.


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