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To Bee, or NOT to Bee? EPA Assists Bayer’s Killing of Bee Colonies

COMMENT: For some time, we’ve highlighted the death of bee colonies in the U.S., with potentially grave effects for U.S. agriculture.

It turns out that not only is a Bayer-manufactured pesticide implicated in the deaths of bee colonies but the EPA has been a partner in crime in this operation, giving a nod and a wink Bayer’s marketing of clothianidin.

A leaked memo shows that the EPA’s scientists rejected the findings of a Bayer-backed study allegedly showing that Bayer’s pesticide, clothianidin, wasn’t harmful to bee colonies.  The EPA went ahead and approved clothianidin’s use anyway.  This all took place back in 2003 when Bayer registered clothianidin’s use with the EPA.  EPA scientists initially concluded that further longer-term studies were required.

Two months later the EPA reversed its decision and decided to grant “conditional approval” for clothianidin’s use, conditional upon Bayer’s completion of a longer-term study by December 2004.  In mid-2004 Bayer requested an extension and received a new, May 2005 deadline.

In addition, the EPA allowed Bayer to conduct it’s study on canola in Canada instead of corn in the US.  This introduced a number of complications that invalidated the intent of the study (to establish it’s safe use on corn fields, where it was already being used extensively since 2003).  Finally, the May 2005 deadline lapsed without any study submitted by Bayer and the EPA did nothing.

In August 2007, Bayer finally submitted the study.  In November 2007, EPA scientists officially declared that the study provided enough evidence of chlothianidin’s safe use.

On April 22, 2010, the EPA rescinded clothiadirin’s “conditional status” and gave it full approval (this is just days into the BP spill…talk about bad timing!)  The contents of the study were kept confidential, however, even after an FOIA request by the Natural Resources Defense Council.  This led to a lawsuit and the eventual release of the study.  The article characterizes it as a joke of a study (the bees in the respective case and control canola fields were able to co-mingle, for instance).

So it looks like evidence (in the form of pro-Bayer junk science released by the FOIA lawsuit and refuted by outspoken EPA scientists in the article) establishing that clothianidin’s safe use remains very much in question.

(If they had actually done the studies correctly, we might have some real data on clothianidin’s long-term impact on bees–apocalyptic for the bees and everything else based on their role in the ecosystem).

The timing of the the bee-colony collapse epidemic is also significant. It started not long after clothianidin’s 2003 introduction into the ecosystem.

A number of countries have banned clothianidin, as discussed in a Guardian article.

In this context, it is important to remember that Bayer, like the other former members of the I.G. Farben firm, remain as fundamental elements of the Bormann capital network, the economic component of an Underground Reich.

“Leaked Document Shows EPA Allowed Bee-Toxic Pesticide Despite Own Scientists’ Red Flags’ by Tom Philpott; grist.org; 12/10/2010.

Discussion

3 comments for “To Bee, or NOT to Bee? EPA Assists Bayer’s Killing of Bee Colonies”

  1. While I am not at all of the thinking that bees will go extinct{like some fearmongers have stated even if not directly in most cases}, I do worry about a bee shortage as well.

    Posted by Steven | December 29, 2010, 6:16 pm
  2. This is just a reminder that Bayer still really hates bees. That is all.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 9, 2012, 1:21 pm
  3. ***Pun Alert!***
    Since eating is kind of essential, looking into this sounds like it might bee a good idea for our bee-co-system.
    ***The Pun Alert has been cancelled***

    ***Bee Colony Collapse-related Starvation Alert!***
    Since eating is kind of essential, looking into this sounds like it might bee a good idea for our bee-co-system.

    ***The Bee Colony Collapse-related Starvation Alert might be moot for many***

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 29, 2013, 4:17 pm

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