The Latest Threat to Bees? Flupy

Just as it was beginning to look like the movement to ban bee-killing pesticides was gaining ground, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved a new pesticide that threatens to be just as toxic.

Flupyradifurone, developed by Bayer CropScience under the brand name Sivanto, is a systemic insecticide that kills aphids, whiteflies, mites, and other “sucking pests.” Slated for use on a cornucopia of crops, including fruit and nut trees, grapes, citrus, potatoes, corn, soy, and cotton, Sivanto is poised to be enormously popular with growers eager for a chemical that’s effective against increasingly resistant pests.

Environmental experts contend that the chemical’s killing power also poses a threat to bees, beneficial insects, wildlife—and possibly humans. “The research shows both indirect effects and direct effects to fish, reptiles, mollusks, mammals—the whole suite of life,” said Lori Ann Burd, environmental health director at the Center for Biological Diversity.