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Syngenta US News

The buzz around Ellis et al. v. EPA: The fact of the matter

A May 22 article in The Washington Post gives the impression the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to pull a dozen neonicotinoid products off the market because they are toxic to bees.

The truth is registrants Syngenta, Bayer and Valent voluntarily agreed to cancel some registrations for products containing thiamethoxam and clothianidin in connection with the settlement of a prolonged lawsuit against EPA by several anti-pesticide groups. As intervenors in the case, the three companies offered to voluntarily cancel a total of 12 product registrations—most never commercialized —out of the 59 product registrations challenged by the activists. This case centered on EPA not following certain administrative processes under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), not product safety.

After five years of litigation, this settlement represents a positive outcome in the interest of all parties. EPA now has until June 2022 to complete its obligations for completing biological evaluations under ESA on the remaining products in the case. And growers still have access to trusted neonic products, essential for controlling destructive pests, managing resistance and supporting integrated pest management. These terms clearly support America’s farmers, while ensuring continued protection of the environment.

Neonicotinoids are rigorously tested before going to market, including extensive tests on pollinators, to ensure they can be used safely and effectively.