In an interim report on three types of neonicotinoids, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that the coatings are “likely negatively affecting” the habitats of thousands of endangered plant and animal species. An impending ban could have major consequences for American agriculture.
These are the herbicides imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, which are commonly used in the cultivation of soybeans, sugar beets, corn, wheat and cottonseeds. Neonicotinoids are used on hundreds of millions of acres of American farmland. In the European Union, the use of these three neonicotinoids has been subject to stricter regulation since 2018.
The EPA has long refused to review the authorization of chemicals under international treaties for the protection of endangered species (red list), but was recently forced to do so through legal proceedings. All pesticides in the United States must pass these screenings, but the EPA is just getting started. The Environmental Inspectorate granted provisional registration permits for the three neonicotinoids in January 2020, but these were only finalized after additional security measures.
Recently, the US agency released its assessment for glyphosate, which is now also awaiting further instructions for use.
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