Beekeepers Fight for Immediate Pesticide Ban
Posted on December 10, 2010 by Nic Anderson
A diverse group of environmentalists and beekeepers has called upon the Environmental Protection Agency to ban a pesticide that a leaked memo has linked to Colony Collapse Disorder. The leaked memo is an internal EPA document which gives evidence of a critically flawed support study.
The memo, dated November 2nd, identifies and discusses a study that was instrumental in helping a pesticide get registered as being scientifically unsound.
The EPA had re-evaluated the safety of the pesticide clothianidin prior to allowing its use to be expanded. The insecticide is sold under the brand name Poncho and is manufactured by Bayer Crop Science.
For at least eight growing seasons Poncho has been used widely as a treatment for seeds for many of America’s major crops. This happened because Bayer was granted a ‘conditional registration’ while the Environmental Protection Agency waited for them to conduct further field studies on the pesticides impact on bee colonies.
The study that let Bayer get conditional registration for clothianidin was conducted in 2003. The concerned groups are demanding an immediate stop to the use of the insecticide until a proper scientific study is carried out in conjunction with professional beekeepers.
One claim that the groups are making is that the guidelines for scientific field study were not rigorous enough to adequately test if clothianidin is a contributor to Colony Collapse Disorder in the real world. The group claims that the initial Bayer field test was carried out over an insufficient period of time, on the wrong crop and without proper controls.