Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 25, 2018 


President Trump scraps planned talks with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Also on our Friday rundown: California lawmakers support and emergency hotline for foster kids; and boating is a booming business in states like Minnesota.

Daily Newscasts

Lawsuit Claims the EPA is Failing to Protect Bees from Pesticides

PHOTO: A coalition of beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups has filed a lawsuit claiming the EPA allows products highly toxic to honeybees to get to market with little oversight. CREDIT: Derek Keats
PHOTO: A coalition of beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups has filed a lawsuit claiming the EPA allows products highly toxic to honeybees to get to market with little oversight. CREDIT: Derek Keats
April 1, 2013

PHOENIX - A lawsuit has been filed against the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming it isn't doing enough to protect the nation's declining bee population. The suit was brought by a coalition of beekeepers and environmental groups, including the Pesticide Action Network.

According to spokesman Paul Towers, the EPA has failed by allowing bee-toxic pesticides in dozens of widely-used agricultural products.

"EPA has acted as a rubber stamp for these neonicotinoid products," Towers charged. "They've rushed the products to market and even when they're on the market, they've failed to provide the right protections on these pesticide labels. So, EPA has really shirked its responsibility, and that's why we're taking them to court."

Research points to a combination of factors likely to blame for honeybees disappearing, including pesticides and bacterial infections. U.S. beekeepers have been losing about a third of their bees annually, and in 2012, many reported record losses of 40 to 50 percent.

It was even worse for Steve Ellis, a beekeeper who is one of the plaintiffs. Ellis lost nearly two-thirds of his bees this year and said he didn't have enough to fulfill his pollination contracts with almond growers in California. Ellis said the bee shortage will have a ripple effect on crops and people, nationwide.

"You sit down at the breakfast table and you want to have your blueberries and your apples, and your cherries and your almonds - and if those yields are going to be impacted by insufficient pollinators - the price is going to go up, and the availability is going to go down," he declared.

Paul Towers said he hopes the suit forces the EPA to review these products independently, and through the normal and more rigorous process.

"And in the interim, it should impose restrictions on the use of these pesticides that are toxic to bees," he said. "Those are the clear and easy steps that the agency can take to ensure the success of bees, of pollination, and to support our food system."

It is the EPA's policy to not comment on pending litigation. The suit was filed in the Northern District Court of California.

More information is at bit.ly/10n7FZI.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ