California Court Ruling Favors Seed Treatments

Cindy ZimmermanARA, ASTA, seed

A California federal court this week ruled in favor of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a coalition of agricultural industry organizations in a legal challenge to order the regulation of seeds treated with pesticides as if the seeds themselves were the pesticides.

asta-logoThe coalition included CropLife America, the American Seed Trade Association, the Agricultural Retailers Association, and several commodity groups as Intervenors in a lawsuit brought against EPA by a number of plaintiffs.

“The court decision is welcomed by ASTA and a broad coalition of farmers and the industries that support them,” said ASTA president and CEO Andy LaVigne. “The ruling will allow farmers to continue to benefit from the use of seed treatments which are a critical tool to minimize crop losses from pests and diseases in an economical and environmentally sustainable way.”

The Court found that the 2013 Bee Guidance document on which Plaintiffs had relied was neither an “agency action” nor “final” under the Administrative Procedure Act, and that Plaintiffs claims were not reviewable by a Court. The Court also denied Plaintiffs’ request to seek additional documents and information from EPA to support their claims.