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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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