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  • BCP residues may be transported to pollen and/or nectar and represent a route of exposure for bees through both contact and ingestion, warns an EPA study.

    BCP residues may be transported to pollen and/or nectar and represent a route of exposure for bees through both contact and ingestion, warns an EPA study. | Photo: Reuters

The chemical could harm almost half of threatened and endangered mammals and plants protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Several environment and food safety groups launched a lawsuit Thursday against the Environmental Protection Agency for approving a new, highly toxic pesticide that could potentially kill up to half of the country's threatened and endangered species.

The use of bicyclopyrone (or “BCP”) on corn crops was allowed in April, BCP being one of the active ingredients of Acuron, “a super-toxic new systemic pesticide product whose four combined ingredients,” reported the Center for Biological Diversity.

Environmental groups argued that no in-depth study has been carried out to investigate the potential wildlife impacts, especially when the chemical is combined with the three other active ingredients of Acuron – an explosive cocktail for wildlife.

“The EPA’s action was unlawful and irresponsible because it failed to include measures to protect endangered species, water quality and the environment,” said George Kimbrell, a senior attorney at the Center for Food Safety. “Further, EPA failed to consider the synergistic effects of the four products in Acuron or the effects of Acuron when used with GE Roundup Ready corn and other pesticides in the field. EPA needs to stop haphazardly approving these dangerous new pesticide cocktails.”

The EPA's own risk assessment found BCP alone could dangerously harm almost half of threatened and endangered mammals and plants protected under the Endangered Species Act.

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“The EPA must stop unleashing new pesticides across the American landscape without first making sure these highly toxic chemicals won’t drive endangered species closer to extinction,” said Lori Ann Burd, environmental health director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The EPA’s failure to look before it leaps has once again put imperiled wildlife across the country in harm’s way.”

The EPA's decision coincides with the line adopted by the White House, which recently launched the Pollinator Task Force without jointly prohibiting pesticides – the main culprit for depletion of bee populations. 


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