EPA Defends Approval of Bayer’s Bee-Killing Pesticide – Clothianidin: A Multi-Species Killer/Deformer – Neurotoxin in the Nicotine Family
by Sarah Parsons December 28, 2010
For active links within the article: http://web.archive.org/web/20111216083159/http://news.change.org/stories/epa-defends-approval-of-bayers-bee-killing-pesticide, or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EdWard-MD/message/762
“A few weeks ago, Change.org brought you news that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) turned a blind eye to clothianidin, a pesticide fingered as a culprit in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Then just last week, the maker of said pesticide, Bayer CropScience, stood by the substance, saying it was perfectly safe for honeybees. Now it’s the EPA’s turn to defend itself ¡ª or rather, dodge and deny environmentalists’ allegations about the agency.
As Grist’s Tom Philpott reports, the EPA recently posted its response to the whole pesticide-killing-honeybees controversy. In a nutshell, the EPA admits no wrongdoing and says that the National Honey Bee Advisory Board, environmental groups, the press, and pretty much everyone else talking about this issue didn’t get their facts straight. But why take my word for it when you can get it straight from the horses’ mouth? Here’s what the EPA had to say for itself:
EPA recently received a letter from the National Honey Bee Advisory Board and other organizations requesting that the Agency remove clothianidin from the market. That letter and subsequent press coverage contain several erroneous statements. Reports that a clothianidin honeybee field study is a “core” study (that is, a study routinely required to support the registration of a pesticide) are not true. Further there is confusion about the review status of the study.
EPA scientists routinely reevaluate studies to determine whether the information submitted is valid and if it is relevant or useful to the regulatory matter in question (in this case a request for a new use). While this study was thought to be invalid as cited by the above groups, EPA reevaluation of the study determined that it contains information useful to EPA’s risk assessment. This field study revealed the majority of hives monitored, including those exposed to clothianidin during the previous season, survived the over-wintering period.
There are so many things wrong and inadequate with this PR-speak that I hardly know where to begin. For one, the agency says that the study evaluating clothiandin’s safety was “useful to EPA’s risk assessment.” That’s pretty hard to believe considering that the EPA’s own chemist and ecologist said that this study was flawed and incomplete. In a leaked document (pdf), EPA scientists said that “A previous field study…investigated the effects of clothianidin on whole hive parameters and was classified as acceptable.
However, after another review of this field study in light of additional information, deficiencies were identified that render the study supplemental. It does not satisfy the guideline 850.3040, and another field study is needed to evaluate the effects of clothianidin on bees through contaminated pollen and nectar.”
The EPA continues to allow farmers to spray clothianidin all over the place knowing full-well that the study evaluating this pesticide’s impact on honeybees was “deficient.” I guess the Environmental Protection Agency has a hard time doing any kind of protecting of the environment.
The EPA’s response also maintains that the study in question was not a “core” study. Again, that’s pretty hard to believe considering that this was the study used to get clothianidin registered as a pesticide in the first place.
Back in 2007, Bayer started producing clothianidin but hadn’t yet conducted studies proving the pesticide’s environmental safety. The EPA issued clothianidin a “partial registration” under the condition that Bayer would then conduct these impact assessments. Bayer did the study, and in early 2010, the EPA fully registered clothianidin.
However, a recently leaked EPA document (pdf) shows that Bayer’s study was flawed and failed to adequately assess clothianidin’s potential impact on honeybees. Whether this study was considered “core” or not is kind of a moot point. Research hasn’t proven clothianidin to be safe for honeybees, and therefore, the stuff has no business being sprayed all over America’s crop fields.
Honeybees already have it pretty rough right now: Since 2006, beekeepers reported losing 30 to 90 percent of their hives from CCD. That’s a problem for bees and for us because honeybees produce about one-third of America’s food supply through pollination. If the EPA knows that a particular pesticide could be contributing to CCD, it has an obligation to get this substance off the market until its safety is proven.
The National Honey Bee Advisory Board and a coalition of non-profits have already written to the EPA and asked the agency to remove clothianidin from the marketplace until a new study proves the substance to be safe for honeybees. You can join the coalition’s campaign by signing Pesticide Action Network’s petition asking the EPA to immediately ban clothianidin.”
The problem with nicotine, a natural pesticide – Clothianidin, is NOT nicotine, it’s a neonicotine – is it’s been around for millions of years and some insects became resistant, works great for the ones that didn’t. As for the GMO not only does it make clothianidin in every part of the corn, they also turned on or off more than 20 OTHER GENES.
As for the insecticide, finding high level wash-off everywhere it’s been being used… high levels in water. I see no reason this will not work on almost all animals all species… indeed the multiple studies showing it working on the corn fed mammals, SO ABSOLUTELY NO REASON IT COULD NOT KILL/DEBILITATE/DEFORM OFFSPRING FISH, BIRDS, MAMMALS, INSECTS.
Study: EPA-approved GMO insecticide responsible for killing off bees, contaminating entire food chain http://csglobe.com/study-epa-approved-gmo-insecticide-responsible-for-killing-off-bees-contaminating-entire-food-chain/
Ed Ward, MD Responds to Virus + Fungus +? = GMO Insecticidal Corn http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EdWard-MD/message/576
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