CATCH THE BUZZ: Sulfoxaflor’s Day In Court

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled today to hear oral arguments in a case that beekeepers say could shape the future of the insect.

National beekeeper groups say the Environmental Protection Agency was wrong when it approved use of a powerful bee-killing pesticide called sulfoxaflor, which they say has been proven to be “highly toxic” to honey bees and other insect pollinators.

Earthjustice Attorney Greg Loarie is to argue on behalf of the Pollinator Stewardship Council, the American Honey Producers Association, the National Honey Bee Advisory Board, the American Beekeeping Federation, and beekeepers Bret Adee, Jeff Anderson and Thomas Smith in a case that has 9 a.m. oral arguments in San Francisco.

Sulfoxaflor is a new chemistry, and the first of a newly assigned sub-class of pesticides in the “neonicotinoid” class of pesticides, the beekeepers say.

Specifically, plaintiffs are requesting changes in the Sulfoxaflor label, the Biological Economic Assessment Division assessment of the value of pollinators and their established habits, and the EPA’s Risk Assessment Process.