Ellis v. Housenger and Bayer

March 3, 2012
Final judgment
United States, Northern District of California

Beekeepers/Honey Producers, Environmental NGOs, Health/Food groups
Steve Ellis, Tom Theobald, Jim Doan, Bill Rhodes, Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, Sierra Club, Center for Environmental Health
EPA, LLC, CropLife America, Bayer, Syngenta, Valent
Sylvia ShihYau Wu, George A. Kimbrell, Peter T. Jenkins, Paige M. Tomaselli

Civil court
Civil action for injunctive and declaratory relief
Neonicotinoid, Clothianidin, Thiamethoxam,
The plaintiffs challenge the actions of the EPA to allow the use of pesticide products containing the active ingredients clothianidin and thiamethoxam and ask that it conforms to the law on endangered species.
District court of Northern District of California, United States

May 8, 2017
Partially Positive
The Court determined that EPA has systematically violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it approved bee-killing insecticides known as neonicotinoids and that it had illegally registered 59 pesticides between 2007 and 2012

In a decision dated 30 May 2017, the Northern District Court of California granted the request of professional beekeepers and associations to suspend the registration of several complete pesticide formulations containing clothianidin or thiamethoxam, pending the results of the risk assessment for these two substances and its compliance with the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The EPA violated the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the ESA by authorising 59 registrations of clothianidin and thiamethoxam pesticides between 2007 and 2012 without consulting the US Wild Life Service or providing the required risk assessments.

On 21 March 2012, the petitioners filed an emergency petition with the EPA under 7 U.S.C. ยง 136(d), asking the agency to suspend the use of clothianidin and thiamethoxam. The petition has attracted the signatures of nearly 1.25 million people, including many hobby beekeepers, who have submitted comments. Farmers report high mortality of their bee colonies, as well as poor health and failure to thrive. On 17 July 2012, the EPA issued a response letter entitled "partial response" rejecting the request for an emergency decision and announced that it would consider the petitioners' comments. On 21 March 2013, the EPA did not grant their request and they filed an appeal in the Northern District Court of California, challenging the failures in the risk assessment process for clothianidin and thiamethoxam.

In May 2019, the EPA announced the final notices of cancellation of the registration of 12 neonicotinoid pesticides, this decision stems from the legal settlement between the two parties in December 2018, after the legal victory in the Northern District Court of California in 2017. The second part of this agreement is to analyse and address the impacts of the entire class of neonicotinoid pesticides on species threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Wildlife Service ("FWS") prior to approving certain applications to register products containing clothianidin and thiamethoxam.