Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bee Die-Off...What We Need To Know

Bee-Die off is a phenomenon that is so in our faces and up front and evident that the causes behind it simply must be addressed. Once in a while I do a rant and name names, push a position and ask you to take a stand.  Please read this information from CredoMobile. You can open the link, go to their site and sign a petition if you like.

Since 2006, U.S. honey bee populations have been in precipitous decline, with some estimates suggesting losses as high as 30% per year.1 While that's terrible, the problem is far greater than just the destruction of a species. Without bees, a big piece of our food supply is in serious danger. Pollination by honey bees is key in cultivating the crops that produce a full one-third of our food.

One  chemical, called clothianidin, could be the cause.  It is produced by the German corporation Bayer CropScience. It is used as a treatment on crop seeds, including corn and canola, and works by expressing itself in the plants' pollen and nectar. Not coincidentally, these are honey bees' favorite sources of food.

Shockingly, no major independent study has verified the safety of this pesticide. While clothianidin has been used on corn -- the largest crop in the U.S. -- since 2003, it was officially approved by the Environmental Protection Agency last year on the basis of a single study, conducted by Bayer. However, recently leaked documents show that the study was actually debunked by the agency's own scientists, so the pesticide was effectively approved with no scientific backing.2

Additional independent studies have shown that neonicotinoid pesticides like clothianidin are highly toxic to honey bees, providing compelling evidence that they should be immediately taken off the market until the E.P.A. can conduct a full and valid scientific review.

This appears to be a case of the E.P.A. catering to the needs of a large chemical corporation at the expense of a lynchpin species in our ecosystem. France, Italy, Slovenia, and Germany -- the home of Bayer -- have already banned clothianidin.

The stakes are simply too high to continue the use of this chemical in the absence of any scientifically verified evidence that it is safe to use. Tell the E.P.A. to immediately prohibit the use of clothianidin and conduct a full scientific review to determine its impact on honey bee populations.


Note to readers:  I have not closed comments for this post, but since this is my own personal rant  I do not intend to engage in arguments over the facts presented here.

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