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Sulfoxaflor and flupyradifurone: Neonicotinoids or not ?

see also   Bee Die-offflupyradifurone,fungicides, mixture effectsdigestive tract/microbiome

Pesticide Mixtures Reduce Life Span of Honey Bees, Damage Gut Microbiome    (Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2022) Study done with field relevant concentrations. 'Honey bees exposed to a combination of multiple pesticides suffer a reduced lifespan and experience adverse changes to their gut microbiome, increasing susceptibility to pathogens and disease. This finding comes from a study published recently in Science of the Total Environment, which examines the interactions between the insecticides flupyradifurone and sulfoxaflor and the fungicide azoxystrobin on honey bee health.   As the present study reveals, pesticide risk assessments do not inadequately capture the range of harm that can result when pesticides are combined, necessitating a shift toward safer, alternative, and regenerative organic farming systems that do not use these dangerous chemicals.For the initial experiment on individual bees, those exposed to flupyradifurone fared the worst, experiencing significantly reduced survival (50% reduction). The addition of azoxystrobin did not significantly add to this effect. However, with sulfoxaflor, it did. Bees subjected tsulfoxaflor and azoxystrobin in combination experienced significantly reduced survival when compared to a sole sulfoxaflor exposure.'     All experimental groups 'show significantly increased abundance of Serratia spp. This rod-shaped bacteria can serious harm honey bee fitness. “These bacteria are pathogenic and harmful to bees’ health,” said Dr. Al Naggar. “They can make it harder for the insects to fight off infection, leading to premature death.”

Court Steps In to Stop Pesticide Use Not Adequately Regulated, Protects Bees   (Beyond Pesticides, December 10, 2021) 'In a win for pollinators, a California Superior Court has issued a ruling that sulfoxaflor, a systemic pesticide that is “field legal” but “bee lethal,” can no longer be used in the state. The suit was brought by the Pollinator Stewardship Council and the American Beekeeping Federation.Sulfoxaflor is an insecticide registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in controlling sucking insects such as aphids, stink bugs, plant bugs, and thrips in agricultural production. It was registered in 2013 for use on many fruit and vegetable crops.... “In 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that federal regulators lacked adequate data to show the pesticide did not pose serious risk to pollinators, and the court vacated the agency’s ( EPA) approval of sulfoxaflor'. . . .for the EPA to proceed in registering sulfoxaflor for crops that do not attract bees, then re-registering it for bee-pollinating crops in subsequent years. SNAP Comment: Sulfoxalor is not a neonicotinoid but has the same mode of action. There are currently 5 sulfoxaflor registered labels in Canada. One of them indicated it was registered both for ground and aerial application on fruits (including apples) and vegetables.

New Insecticides Escalate Indiscriminate Harm to All Organisms  (Beyond Pesticides, October 9, 2020) A new study demonstrates that emerging “novel” insecticides can cause significant, sublethal harm to beneficial organisms at typical “real life” exposure levels.sources. As the study paper notes, “Field-realistic applications of neonicotinoids can have significant sub-lethal impacts on beneficial insects, with knock-on effects on ecosystem services. This has resulted in bans and restriction on neonicotinoid use globally, most notably in the European Union.”      Sulfoxaflor and flupyradifurone, like neonics, are systemic insecticides. Flupyradifurone can persist in soils for months or years, whereas sulfoxaflor’s half-life in soil is two or three days. Research data reviewed by the subject study suggest that beneficial insects will be exposed to these compounds at relatively high concentrations in agricultural environments.      The researchers learned that flupyradifurone can have lethal impacts at field-realistic levels, with some kinds of bees being more vulnerable than others; further, and unsurprisingly, exposures to the compound were more likely to be harmful in combination with other environmental stressors, such as poor nutrition, pathogens, or other agricultural chemicals. .   The study also shows that sulfoxaflor has negative impacts on bee reproduction similar to those of neonics, particularly reduced reproduction (egg laying) and poor larval development, and that flupyradifurone exposures impair bees’ flight behavior, foraging success, and bodily temperature regulation

Insecticides the Pesticide Industry Said Were “Safer for Bees” Found to Stress and Kill Honey Bees    (Beyond Pesticides, June 23, 2020)  'As reported, a study by researchers at Oregon State University in the journal PLOS Onesulfoxaflor and flupyradifurone (in the products Transform and Sivanto, respectively) were found to increase apoptosis (cell death) and increase oxidative stress in exposed honey bees. The study indicates that, “With the recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval for use of both flupyradifurone and sulfoxaflor, and with the growing concern regarding pollinator health, it is important to better understand any potential negative impacts (especially sub-lethal) of these pesticides on bees.” However, this statement begs the question ‘why these two new bee-toxic pesticide were approved by EPA in the first place.’.    Independent scientific data has already been established on the harm these pesticides pose to pollinators. Last year, EPA registered new uses of sulfoxaflor, despite these warning signs. “Proposing to register sulfoxaflor for use on bee-attractive crops, in the midst of an ongoing pollinator crisis, is the height of irresponsibility,” said Drew Toher, community resource and policy director for Beyond Pesticides in an interview for Bloomberg Environment. “When all of the available data points to significant risks to pollinators from use of this chemical, we must face the facts: EPA is working towards the protection of pesticide industry, not the environment,” he said. EPA is in the midst of a lawsuit challenging its approval of sulfoxaflor.  The Saving America’s Pollinators Act (SAPA) was amended last year by Representative Blumenhauer to include immediate restrictions in the use of flypyradifurone and sulfoxaflor, in addition to the neonicotinoid insecticides that continue to poison pollinator populations. (US readers: go to the original article for action on this issue)    SNAP Comment: Well, the insecticides are also approved in Canada. As of 10 July 2020, 5 labels (including Transform) are listed for sulfoxaflor and 6 labels for flupyradifurone including Sivanto. As the question of why these products were approved, I suspect it is as replacement for neonicotinoids banned or about to be banned. Another indication that banning one produt at a time after a replacement is found is ridiculous to ensure safety. 

Sulfoxaflor and flupyradifurone:  Neonicotinoids or not ? (PAN Europe, Sept 2016)   The pesticide industry is trying to hide the reality behind two new chemicals that are similar to the notorious group of neonicotinoids linked to massive bee death all over the world.

Their properties clearly show that they should be classified as neonicotinoids.

General conclusion
This factsheet has demonstrated how pesticide companies make use of pseudo-science to give their new pesticides a more positive image. In the frame of the ever greater interest of the general public in the relation between pesticide use and health damage, including bee health, the fact that pesticide companies themselves decide what category a pesticide belongs to, for mere regulatory or marketing purposes should not be authorised.
Sulfoxaflor and flupyradifurone are neonicotinoid insecticides. They should be treated accordingly by regulator, taking into account their systemicity and the harm they could cause to non-target organism

Because of this detailed factsheet, articles about these 2 chemicals will be under their own section of this page from now on. This is an important distinction because, as neonicotinoids are shown to have such a massive effects on pollinators, companies want to keep on  registering insecticides with the same mode of action without the bad press of calling them neonicotinoids. France, which banned many neonicotinoids, has recently approved those two because the regulators have been fooled. There is currently (November 2017) a campaign to ask for France to 'Ban all bee-killing pesticides!' Please consider signing and sharing. 

Sulfoxaflor and flupyradifurone:  Neonicotinoids or not ? (PAN Europe, Sept 2016)   The pesticide industry is trying to hide the reality behind two new chemicals that are similar to the notorious group of neonicotinoids linked to massive bee death all over the world.

Their properties clearly show that they should be classified as neonicotinoids.