Bee advocates, environmentalists, and farmers suffered a stinging defeat in federal court last week, when the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that EPA guidance over pesticide-coated seeds is not subject to legal review.
Bees are currently suffering unprecedented die offs, with beekeepers losing 44 percent of their bees last year. Some have pointed to neonicotinoid pesticides as a likely contributor to the deaths. Those same pesticides are often applied directly to seeds, a practice the EPA generally exempts from normal pesticide regulations. Recent guidance to that effect, given to EPA inspectors, led the apiarists and others to sue, arguing that the guidance qualified as unlawful agency action under the Administrative Procedures Act.