Two environmental groups continued a five-year fight by suing the EPA to force it to regulate pesticide-coated seeds in the name of protecting bees and other pollinators. Seeds coated with neonicotinoid insecticides are used on 80 percent of corn acres and 40 percent of soybean acres. The EPA decided almost ten years ago that the seeds would not be regulated as pesticides as long as the coatings are registered, and the effect of the pesticides doesn’t extend beyond the seeds. In 2017, the Center for Food Safety petitioned the EPA to regulate coated seeds. However, the agency hasn’t taken any action on the petition since the public comment period ended in 2018. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court of San Francisco, and it requests the court to force the EPA to act on the petition within a 90-day window. CFS says pollinators are suffering grave harm while EPA fiddles.
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