(Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Thursday it was unlikely to approve new or expanded uses of certain pesticides while it evaluates the risks they may pose to honey bees.
The so-called neonicotinoid pesticides are routinely used in agriculture and applied to plants and trees in gardens and parks. But their widespread use has come under scrutiny in recent years after a drop in the number of honey bees and other pollinating insects, which play key roles in food production.
The decline is attributed to factors including pesticide and herbicide use, habitat loss and disease, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The EPA notice came the day after Oregon's largest city suspended the use of the pesticides on its property to protect honey bees.