Despite the Trump administration’s industry-backed EPA’s determineation to approve the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, a federal court has now come to the aid of wildlife. It has denied the agency’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council that is meant to enforce the tenets of the Endangered Species Act.
“At a moment when birds, bees, and other species are disappearing at alarming rates,” says Rebecca Riley, Legal Director for the Nature Program at NRDC, “The federal government needs to pay close attention to the impact its pesticide approvals have on vulnerable wildlife. We are learning more about how toxic chemicals like neonic pesticides contaminate our soil and water and damage ecosystems. With the case now moving forward, we will continue to fight to ensure that EPA gives these species the full protections required by law.”
In 2017, NRDC filed a lawsuit challenging the EPA’s registration of products containing neonic pesticides. The lawsuit demands that EPA comply with the Endangered Species Act and evaluate the impact pesticides have on threatened and endangered species.
Moreover, proof that these pesticides is toxic to wildlife is already quite evident. Widespread neonic use has already contributed to global bee die-offs and had a significant impact on a broad range of wildlife dispersed across various ecosystems.
Neonics are neurotoxic insecticides designed to kill insects by attacking their nerve cells. They are systemic pesticides, meaning they dissolve in water and are absorbed by plants, making their nectar, pollen, and fruit toxic. Neonics are also the most popular insecticides in the U.S. where they can still be found in lawn and garden bug sprays, treatments for pets and livestock, and in use in various commercial crops.