Sep 102015
 

Bee pollinating basil (public domain image)

Ed. note: Our initial report on this decision, relying on the court's decision, identified sulfoxaflor as a neonicotinoid. It is, in fact,a  sulfoximine. (The opinion said sulfoxaflor "acts on the same receptor in insects as does the class of insecticides referred to as neonicotinoids, but its mechanism is distinct from other neonicotinoids, so it is currently the only member of a subclass of neonicotinoids called
sulfoximines. Some insects that are resistant to other
neonicotinoids are not resistant to sulfoxaflor because of the unique mechanism sulfoxaflor uses." In a statement issued after the decision, EPA said flatly, "Sulfoxaflor is not a neonicotinoid."

Also: While this item does not directly implicate endangered species or wetlands, it could well have an impact on petitions seeking listing of butterflies or bees. There's no question it's a significant decision.

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Sept. 10, 2015 -- The Ninth Circuit vacated EPA's unconditional registration of Dow AgroSciences' insecticide, sulfoxaflor, saying it was "based on flawed and limited data [and] was not supported by substantial evidence" (Pollinator Stewardship Council v. EPA, 13-72346).

The opinion is posted below. Here is Earthjustice's announcement and its initial press release (upon suing)