Hawaii Attorney General joins lawsuit against pesticide that could harm bees

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — On Thursday, the Hawaii Attorney General joined a multi-state coalition in an ongoing lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) improper use of the pesticide, Sulfoxaflor. 

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The Attorney General argued that due to its toxicity, Sulfoxaflor poses risks to pollinators – like bees – that are essential to agriculture and the ecosystem. 

In the amicus brief submitted by the coalition, the group wrote that the EPA violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Endangered Species Act by approving new uses of Sulfoxaflor without consulting the public or considering the pesticide’s effects on endangered species. 

“The registration of Sulfoxaflor violated federal law,” said Attorney General Connors. “Protecting the environment is a critical concern for our state and the EPA should be at the forefront of these efforts, rather than undermine them.”

Under FIFRA, all pesticides must receive regulatory approval from the EPA before their use. Before registering a pesticide, the EPA reviews human and environmental safety information to determine whether the pesticide will cause “unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.” 

Sulfoxaflor was originally registered in 2013, however, a court challenge reversed the registration until its manufacturer, Dow Chemical, submitted additional evidence of its effect on pollinators. 

Now, Connors and the coalition insist that the EPA failed to provide the public with an opportunity to review and comment on the new applications for registration.

A copy of the amicus brief can be found here. 

Read the full press release here.

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