EPA reverses ban on pesticide seen as threat to bees

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is allowing a once-prohibited farm pesticide back on the market over objections from beekeepers.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday it would again allow wide use of sulfoxaflor. The pesticide is made by Corteva Agriscience, a spinoff created last month in the DowDuPont merger.

Beekeepers say the pesticide is a threat and successfully sued to have it taken off the market. A federal appeals court ruled in 2015 that not enough was known about its effect on bees.

EPA assistant administrator Alexandra Dunn says new industry studies that haven’t been made public show a low level of risk to bees and other wildlife.

Program director Michele Colopy of the Pollinator Stewardship Council says the pesticide is wiping out beneficial bugs. The council represents beekeepers and was among those that sued to have it banned.