EPA sued over pesticide-coated seeds’ ‘devastating impacts’ on US wildlife

Environmental groups are suing the US Environmental Protection Agency over pesticide-coated seeds they say have “devastating environmental impacts” and are spread largely without regulatory oversight.

The suit alleges the neonicotinoid seeds are now spread on about 150m acres (61m hectares) of US farmland and up to 95% of the pesticide on the seed sheds, polluting nearby soil, water and air. The seeds are so dangerous to wildlife that just one can kill a bird, the groups note.

“They are highly toxic to pollinators, insects, birds, aquatic organisms that build the base of our food chain,” said Amy von Saun, an attorney with the Center for Food Safety (CFS), a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit. “Because the seeds represent so much neonicotinoid use, this is where all the devastation is coming from.”