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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Clothianidin' Category


10
Jun

Washington Ag Dept Rejects Petition to Curtail Bee-Killer Pesticide

(June 10, 2013, Beyond Pesticides) The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) on June 6 rejected a petition by Thurston County Commissioners to restrict sale, use and application of neonicotinoid insecticides. On April 8, 2013, the Commissioners requested the action by WSDA because of concerns about the effect of neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bee colony health. The Commissioners were acting on “substantial bee colony loss in 2012” reported by the Olympia Beekeepers Association. In its request, the Commissioners asked the state to implement a “restriction on the purchase, sale, distribution and application of the neonicotinoid class of insecticides for ornamental use to persons or entities with a valid WSDA pesticide applicator license” and indicated that “immediate action on a local level is appropriate and necessary.” Beyond Pesticides wrote a letter of support in favor of the petition. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. According to the EPA, uncertainties have been identified since their initial registration regarding the potential environmental fate and effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, particularly as they […]

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13
May

New Report Details Mounting Bee Losses

(Beyond Pesticides, May 13, 2013) According to preliminary results of a survey by the Bee Informed Partnership, 31.1 percent of managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. were lost during the 2012/2013 winter.   Though these preliminary loss reports are similar to the past six year average of 30.5 percent, the new loss numbers represent a 42 percent increase compared to the previous winter. Survey participants indicate that they consider a loss rate of 15 percent as “acceptable,” but 70 percent of participants suffered losses greater than this. With continued winter bee losses of over 30%, and concern whether there will be enough bees to pollinate U.S. crops this year, beekeepers and environmentalists say it is imperative  that regulators act by banning the neonicotiniod pesticides that have been implicated in the global decline of honey bee populations. In addition to this national report, several state level incidents of large scale honey bee colony losses have been reported. In a recent incident in Florida, citrus groves experienced an acute foliar poisoning that resulted in severely damaged colonies. Oranges had an early bloom this year, and were still blooming near the end of April. One beekeeper’s colonies suffered immense losses due to […]

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03
May

New Federal Report on Honey Bee Health

(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2013) Despite the groundbreaking decision in Europe earlier this week to protect honey bees by suspending the neonicotinoid pesticides shown to be highly toxic, the  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report yesterday which fails to address the overwhelming scientific evidence of neonicotinoid-related bee death and decline. The report presents no long-term, sustainable solutions to address the current bee crisis. Instead, the report recommends further research on the role of pesticides in honey bee health, further highlighting the stymied pace of U.S. regulatory efforts. The report follows on the National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health, which was led by federal researchers and managers and Pennsylvania State University in October 2012. Stakeholders at the conference included industry, federal officials, scientists, beekeepers, and activists who discussed several factors pertaining to adverse pollinator heath. Parasites, disease, genetics, poor nutrition, and pesticide exposure were highlighted at the meeting as synergistic factors in the observable nationwide honey bee decline. The report recommends further research on the impacts of pesticides on bees at the colony level in the field, but does not capture the science connecting pesticides to adverse effects or the need […]

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30
Apr

Victory in Europe! EU Votes to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2013) A landmark decision by the European Commission on Monday means that bee-killing, neonicotinoid pesticides will experience a continent-wide ban in Europe for two years. A  15 Member States majority  supported the ban, with eight against, and four abstaining. European Health and Consumer Commissioner Tony Borg explains, “Since our proposal is based on a number of risks to bee health identified by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Commission will go ahead with its text in the coming weeks. I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion annually to European agriculture, are protected.” The ban comes several months after the EFSA released a report identifying “high acute risk” to honey bees from uses of certain neonicotinoid chemicals. The moratorium will begin no later than December 1 this year. “We’re happy to see the EU take a leadership role to remove from the market these chemicals associated with colony collapse disorder and hazards to bee health. We’ll continue to push the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through legal and advocacy means to follow-up with urgent actions needed to protect bees,” says […]

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17
Apr

Bulgarian Beekeepers Protest Use of Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, April 17, 2013)   Beekeepers in Bulgaria are revving up protests calling for a moratorium on the use of pesticides hazardous to bees, with a nationwide demonstration scheduled for Earth Day on April 22. The beekeepers are citing European and Bulgarian studies saying that neonicotinoid pesticides harm the immune systems of bees, shortening their lives and aggravating the mass disappearance of bee colonies. At an April 10 march, beekeeper Hristo Stoikov told Bulgarian National Television that in the past three years close to 60 percent of the bee population had disappeared. If the government failed to act, Bulgaria would be left with no bees. Separate reports said that about 200, 000 bees died in Bulgaria in 2012, about 20 per cent of the country’s bee population. The Union of Bulgarian Beekeepers is citing European and Bulgarian studies saying that neonicotinoid pesticides harm the immune systems of bees, shortening their lives and aggravating the mass disappearance of bee colonies. Beekeepers are upset that in the most recent European Union (EU)-level vote on banning the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides — clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid, Bulgaria was among countries that abstained. At the beginning of 2013, the European Commission asked […]

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15
Apr

Supermarket Chain to Stop Suppliers from Using Bee-Harming Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, April 15, 2013) British supermarket chain, Waitrose Limited, has made the decision to phase out the use of bee-toxic neonicotinoid insecticides across its supply chain. This is happening in lieu of strong regulatory changes expected by the European Union (EU). The company, which has more than 200 branches across the UK, told its fruit, vegetable, and flower suppliers that they would have until the end of 2014 to stop using neonictoinoids, in particular imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam. These restrictions, delineated in Waitrose’s new Seven Point Plan for Pollinators, will eventually extend to some of their commodities, including oil seed and corn; however, the company did not announce any timeline for this phase-out. The managing director, Mark Price, released a statement that said, “Waitrose aims to be a restorative retailer, putting back more than we take from the environment, and we believe our decision on the three formulations of neonicotinoids is appropriate until conclusive evidence is put forward about the effects of these three chemicals.” The move follows in the footsteps of other high profile garden centers, hardware stores, and DYI retailers that have already stopped supplying these harmful chemicals on their shelves. Nevertheless, Waitrose’s commitment to the pollinator […]

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10
Apr

Members of UK Parliament Call for Precautionary Ban on Neonicotinoids

(Beyond Pesticides, April 10, 2013) In response to the United Kingdom (UK) blocking attempts to introduce a Europe-wide ban on the world’s most widely used insecticides – neonicotinoids, some members of parliament (MPs) from the environmental audit committee (EAC) chided their government last week for relying on “fundamentally flawed” studies and failing to uphold its own precautionary principle, saying that the UK must suspend the use of the pesticides linked to serious harm in bees. The UK environment secretary, Owen Paterson, must end his department’s “extraordinary complacency” and suspend the use of pesticides linked to serious harm in bees, according to a damning report from an influential cross-party committee of MPs. The UK is blocking attempts to introduce a Europe-wide ban on the world’s most widely used insecticides, neonicotinoids, arguing that the scientific evidence is inconclusive. But MPs on parliament’s green watchdog, the environmental audit committee (EAC), said the government was relying on “fundamentally flawed” studies and failing to uphold its own precautionary principle. The EAC report criticizes ministers and the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) for their “extraordinarily complacent approach to protecting bees”. The report calls on the government to impose a ban on imidacloprid, clothianidin […]

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03
Apr

Bayer, Syngenta Propose Bee Health Plan to Forestall Restrictions on Products

(Beyond Pesticides, April 3, 2013)   Last week, Syngenta and Bayer CropScience proposed an action plan to forestall pending European Union (EU) restrictions on their neonicotinoid products that have been linked to global bee declines.   Stating that a ban on their products would not save hives, the plan focuses on implementing agricultural best management practices, planting habitat, and new research and development, all of which fail to seriously address the real problem that their products are highly toxic to bees. This new industry plan comes on the heels of the European Union (EU) stalemate on bee health, and after the EU food safety agency concluded that certain neonicotinoids pose unacceptable risks to bees. Public and regulatory scrutiny is now focused on the class of chemicals — neonicotinoids— linked to bee health decline. Neonicotinoids have been shown by numerous studies to adversely impact the health of  bees, as well as  birds and aquatic organisms. Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, and Pesticide Action Network North America joined beekeepers and other environmental and public health advocacy groups to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling for the suspension of the neonicotinoids, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. The science continues to document these […]

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29
Mar

Studies Find that Pesticides Cause Brain Damage in Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, March 29, 2013) Two studies released Wednesday support the findings of the European Food Safety Authority that neonicotinoid insecticides pose an unacceptable risk to bees. The pair of British studies indicate that neonicotinoids and miticides cause brain damage, compromising bee survival. The study, published in Nature Communications by researchers at the University of Dundee and Newcastle University, concludes that imidacloprid  and clothianidin, a commonly used insecticides on crops and plants, as well as the organophosphate miticide coumaphos, a treatment for Varroa bee mites, cause cognitive damage in bees. The research indicates that within 20 minutes of exposure to pesticides the neurons in the learning center of the brain stop firing, causing “epileptic type” hyperactivity. While the bees are still alive, the lobes of the brain fail to communicate with each other with obvious implications for their survival, Another study, published in the Journal for Experimental Biology by a team of Newcastle scientists, links imidacloprid and coumaphos to learning and memory impairment. The research indicates that brain damage from pesticides makes it more difficult for bees to forage and find food, and when they find the food they have trouble locating and returning to their hives. In sum, the […]

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28
Mar

Report Exposes the Flaws in EPA’s Pesticide Approval Process

(Beyond Pesticides, March 28, 2013) A scathing new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sheds much needed light on the flaws in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) pesticide approval process, noting that in terms of the agency’s ability to offer transparency and rigorously test these inherently toxic chemicals, “the public’s trust is misplaced.” The recent lawsuit brought about by a coalition of beekeepers, consumer, and environmental groups, including Beyond Pesticides, emphasizes the harm resulting from EPA’s  abuse of the statutory  “conditional registration” program.  Through this program,  EPA has  allowed  the wide and growing use of the systemic neonicotinoid pesticides that are  linked to the dramatic decline in honey bee health and viability of honey bee colonies. A startling number of pesticides, nearly 65% of the more than 16,000 pesticides now on the market, were first approved by the process of “conditional registration,” a loophole in which EPA allows new pesticides on the market without the full range of legally mandated toxicity tests. NRDC accuses EPA of misusing the conditional registration process, and their assertions are by no means unfounded. The report cites EPA’s own 2004-2010 internal analysis that ultimately determined the agency had misused the provision “98 percent […]

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21
Mar

EPA Hands the Reins to Industry on Honey Bee Decline, Groups Sue EPA for Lack of Action

(Beyond Pesticides, March 21, 2013) Beyond Pesticides joins beekeepers, environmental and consumer groups in filing a lawsuit in Federal District Court against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its failure to protect pollinators from dangerous pesticides. The coalition seeks suspension of the registrations of insecticides- clothianidin and thiamethoxam- which have repeatedly been identified as highly toxic to honey bees, clear causes of major bee kills and significant contributors to the devastating ongoing mortality of bees known as colony collapse disorder (CCD).  The suit challenges EPA’s oversight of these bee-killing pesticides, as well as the agency’s practice of “conditional registration” and labeling deficiencies. Beyond Pesticides joins The Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network North America, the Sierra Club, the Center for Environmental Health, and four beekeepers: Steve Ellis of Old Mill Honey Co. (MN, CA), Jim Doan of Doan Family Farms (NY), Tom Theobald of Niwot Honey Farm (CO) and Bill Rhodes of Bill Rhodes Honey (FL). See Press Release. Read the 2013 Lawsuit, Appendix A: Clothianidin, Appendix B: Thiamethoxam. Handing the Reins to Industry The lawsuit comes on the heels of the recent Pollinator Summit, hosted by EPA with the aim to “advance our understanding and our efforts […]

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18
Mar

EU Split on Suspending Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, March 18, 2013) The bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides used for agriculture will continue to be used across the European Union (EU), as members failed to reach an agreement on the proposal to suspend their use on flowering crops over the next two years. The proposal had followed reports released by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which found the continued use of neonicotinoids to be an unacceptable “high acute risk” to pollinators, particularly honey bees. However, three EU members opposed the plan to suspend, blocking the European Commission from attaining a qualified majority to adopt the proposed suspension. “The commission put the text to the vote and no qualified majority was reached, either in favor or against the text,” the European Commission said in a statement. Those opposing the proposal, notably UK and German Ministers, argued that more scientific evidence was needed as a suspension could cause disproportionate damage to food production, counter to research indicating bee declines also damage crop productivity. Pesticide companies Bayer and Syngenta have pressed hard following the EFSA report to effect this outcome. The decision, or lack thereof, runs contrary to a precautionary approach to ensuring healthy bees as critical for our food production […]

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12
Feb

Vanishing Honey Bee Colonies May Impact California’s Almond Production

(Beyond Pesticides, February 12, 2013)   Is 2013 the year colony collapse disorder (CCD) begins impacting our food supply? According to the American Bee Journal, almond growers in California may not have access to the honey bee colonies necessary to pollinate this year’s crop. “We need 1.6 million colonies, or two colonies per acre, and California has only about 500,000 colonies that can be used for that purpose. We need to bring in a million more colonies but due to the winter losses, we may not have enough bees,” says Eric Mussen, PhD,  extension apiculturist at the University of California Davis (UC Davis) Department of Entomology. The problem, Dr. Mussen explains, is due to heavy losses this winter and less populous hives overall. Some beekeepers are reporting astonishing winter losses upwards of 90 percent, and in select cases complete colony loss. Honey production in 2012 was one of the worst years in the history of the United States, Dr. Mussen notes. Less honey means less food for overwintering bees, putting increased stress on colonies attempting to fight off the spread of CCD. CCD is the name given to the precipitous decline of honey bee populations around the world beginning in […]

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01
Feb

EU Commission Takes Steps To Suspend Bee-Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, February 1, 2013) The European Commission announced yesterday its position against the use of neonicotinoid insecticides, pushing nations within the European Union (EU) to impose a two year suspension on their use. The proposal, put forward at a meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, would restrict the application of neonicotinoids as granules, seed-treatment or spray, on crops that are attractive to bees, particularly, sunflowers, rapeseed, corn, cotton, and cereal crops. Environmental groups say that this decision should signal the way forward for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend neonicotinoids in the U.S. “It’s a great thing,” said New York beekeeper Jim Doan, “I’m hoping that the EPA follows in their footsteps. While I recognize our government works differently, it says something that the European government has recognized the overwhelming data on the impact of these pesticides.” The announcement comes on the heels of research conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which indicated that three neonicotinoid insecticides””imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam, produced by Switzerland’s Syngenta and Germany’s Bayer, pose an unacceptable hazards to honey bees. In its report released January 16th, EFSA concludes that systemic contamination of neonicotinoid-treated crops, neonicotinoid […]

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17
Jan

Groups Say It’s Time to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticide as European Authority Finds Danger Unacceptable

(Beyond Pesticides, January 17, 2013) The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) yesterday presented its report which finds that the neonicotinoid class of insecticides poses unacceptable hazards to bees. The report concludes that certain crops treated with neonicotinoid chemicals –imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam– are of “critical concern” for bee health. Beekeepers and environmental activists welcome these recent scientific findings that they say support a U.S. ban on these chemicals. According to Jay Feldman, Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides, “The EFSA report confirms what we have been asking EPA to recognize. Clothianidin and other neonicotinoids are highly toxic to bees, and should be banned by EPA and removed from the environment.” In its investigation, EFSA, which was tasked with assessing the risks associated with these chemicals to bee colony survival and development, found that systemic contamination of neonicotinoid-treated crops and contamination via dust place honey bees and the hives they return to at high risk. Exposure to contaminated dust pose a high risk to honey bees for all three neonicotinoids used on corn and certain other crops, as well as exposure to residues in nectar and pollen. High risks were also identified from exposure to guttation fluid from corn for thiamethoxam. EFSA considered […]

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19
Dec

Report Cites Multiple Causes, including Pesticides, of Declines in Bee Population

(Beyond Pesticides, December 19, 2012) The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued its overview report, Bee Health: The Role of Pesticides, in response to a congressional request for more information on the connection between declines in bee populations, colony collapse disorder (CCD) and pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids. The 23-page report, dated December 11, 2012, summarizes the range of scientific studies and regulatory activities without offering a critique of what bee health advocates have identified as serious deficiencies in the regulatory review process and compliance with the pesticide registration law. The review gives equal standing to independent and industry science. The CRS report identifies a range of issues regarding: 1. Changes to managed and wild bee populations (indicating limited information); 2. Factors that are documented to impact bee health, including pesticides, pests and diseases, diet and nutrition, genetics, habitat loss, and beekeeper issues, highlighting that there are multiple exposure pathways that may work synergistically; 3. Scientific research on the role of pesticides; and, 4. Current research and regulatory activity regarding neonicotinoids, a neurotoxic insecticide impacting bees. The report reviews the ‘state of play’ on the issue of bee declines and finds that there are reported to be many factors that contribute to the […]

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14
Dec

Neonicotinoids Regulators Criticized by UK Parliament

(Beyond Pesticides, December 14, 2012) Decision making advice by the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) and insecticide regulator, the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra), were harshly criticized on Wednesday by Members of Parliament (UK), as they discussed the problems associated with neonicotinoids, a group of neurotoxic insecticides linked to serious declines in bee and pollinator populations. The meeting was attended by Members of Parliament, members of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides, Lord de Mauley, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the Department for Environment, the Food and Rural Affairs and officials, bringing neonicotinoids and their impact on bees to the attention of the international community as well as at home. The discussion focused on the evidence used to make a decision on the allowance of neonicotinoids and plans for the future. ACP members indicated that evidence for future draft plans would be based on new studies developed in 2012 on the effects of neonicotinoids at the colony level, as well as the impact of neonicotinoids exposure in field tests, rather than in the lab. Research will likely fill the extant data gaps, the most important of which were identified by officials of Defra, the environmental regulatory agency in […]

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23
Oct

Latest Study Again Links Pesticides to Bee Die-Offs

(Beyond Pesticides, October 23, 2012) It’s a story we’ve heard for far too long. Research published yesterday in the journal Nature concludes that when bees are exposed to pesticides their colonies have a greater propensity to fail, again raising the urgent need for regulatory action to protect pollinators. This study adds to the body of science that shows toxic pesticide dependency in agriculture is undermining our food supply. Concerned citizens Take Action! Join us this Thursday, October 25th at Noon outside EPA Headquarters (340 12th St NW (12th and Pennsylvania Ave)) for a rally to tell EPA that it must act to protect pollinators now. The rally will feature speakers from various nonprofit and environmental organizations, commercial and urban beekeepers, film documentarians and more, including: ”¢ David Hackenberg, Commercial Beekeeper, PA ”¢ Jay Feldman, Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides ”¢ Peter T. Jenkins, Attorney/Consultant, Center for Food Safety ”¢ Jim Doan, Commercial Beekeeper, NY ”¢ Maryam Henein, Director “Vanishing of the Bees” ”¢ Meme Thomas, Baltimore City Beekeeper ”¢ Kevin Hansen, Director of “Nicotine Bees” and Sierra Club Representative The Nature study, “Combined pesticide exposure severely affects individual- and colony-level traits in bees,” followed 40 bumblebee colonies for four weeks. While […]

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18
Sep

Pollinators Need Your Support!

(Beyond Pesticides, September 18, 2012) Take Action! On September 25, EPA will close its public comment period for the petition requesting the agency to suspend the bee-killing pesticide clothianidin. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has failed to recognize that pollinators face unique hazards from clothianidin, a neonicotinoid pesticide which is linked to disruptions in bee mobility, navigation, and feeding behavior. So far thousands of concerned beekeepers, gardeners, hobbyists and folks like you have told EPA to suspend clothianidin and protect pollinators now! Without your support, clothianidin’s effects on honey bees will continue to put beekeepers, rural economies, and our food system at risk. With one in three bites of food reliant on honey bee pollination, it’s imperative that we act now! Tell EPA to suspend the use of the bee-killer clothianidin and protect pollinators. See sample comments here. If you are having trouble submitting to the docket, click here. Background Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is the name given to the mysterious decline of honey bee populations around the world beginning in 2006. On average, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that beekeepers have been losing over 30% of their honey bee colonies each year—but some are losing many […]

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07
Sep

Environmentalists and Beekeepers Give EPA Legal Notice to Protect Threatened and Endangered Species

(Beyond Pesticides, September 7, 2012) Yesterday, Beyond Pesticides joined with the Center for Food Safety and the Sierra Club, along with beekeepers from around the country, to file a 60-Day Notice letter with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcing the intent to jointly sue the agency for Endangered Species Act (ESA) violations. The potential lawsuit highlights EPA’s continuing failure to ensure, through consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, that its numerous product approvals for the neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin and thiamethoxam are not likely to jeopardize any federally-listed threatened or endangered species. “EPA has failed to uphold the clear standards of the Endangered Species Act,” said Peter Jenkins, attorney at the Center for Food Safety. “By continuing to ignore the growing number of reports and studies demonstrating the risks of neonicotinoids to honey bees and a large number of already threatened and endangered species, the EPA is exposing these already compromised populations to potentially irreversible harm.” The Notice of Intent to Sue follows a legal petition previously filed by several environmental organizations and more than two dozen beekeepers requesting that EPA immediately suspend use of the chemical clothianidin that poses fatal harm to pollinators. While refusing to issue an […]

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24
Aug

U.S. Representative Markey Calls on EPA to Step Up Protections for Pollinators

(Beyond Pesticides, August 24, 2012) U.S. Representative Edward Markey, (D-MA) has sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging it to investigate a possible link between the use of common pesticides and reductions in honey bee populations. The letter comes as EPA is accepting public comments on a legal petition filed by beekeepers and environmental groups seeking to suspend the use of the neonicotinoid pesticide clothianidin, which has been linked to serious pollinator health concerns. In his letter to the EPA, Rep. Markey asks the agency to respond to questions, including: ”¢Has the EPA investigated the impacts of the class of pesticides on honey bees and other pollinators? ”¢What steps has EPA taken, and what more can the agency do, to limit or restrict the use of these pesticides and reduce the impact on bee populations? ”¢What steps is the EPA taking to ensure there is sufficient scientific evidence to make informed decisions about the impacts of neonicotinoids on bees and other pollinators? Bee pollination contributes an estimated $15 billion to the agricultural economy. Yet, recent research has found that certain members of a group of related pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, may be jeopardizing bee populations and […]

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29
Jul

EPA Asks for Public Comment on Petition to Ban Pesticide Deadly to Bees, Senators Urge Expedited Action

(Beyond Pesticides, July 30, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened a 60-day public comment period on the agency’s decision to deny the request by beekeepers to immediately suspend the use of clothianidin, a pesticide that poses harm to pollinators. The legal petition was filed earlier this year by 25 beekeepers and environmental organizations, and cites significant acute and chronic bee kills across the United States linked to neonicotinoid pesticides, particularly clothianidin. On Thursday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, called for an expedited review of pesticides that could be inadvertently decimating honey bee populations. The letter is also signed by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). EPA is not expected to complete its review until 2018, and any implementation plans could take years beyond that to complete. Given that Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has decreased the U.S. bee population by 30 percent since 2006, Senator Gillibrand is urging a quicker timeframe, asking that it be completed by the end of next year. “Our agriculture industry is vital to the upstate New York’s economy,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Our farmers need honey bees to pollinate our crops and produce. However, certain pesticides […]

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20
Jul

EPA Denies Imminent Hazard Exists in Partial Response to Beekeeper Petition

(Beyond Pesticides, July 20, 2012) On Thursday, July 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it had formally refused to recognize that honey bees face an “imminent hazard” and denied a request by beekeepers to immediately suspend the use of pesticides that pose harm to pollinators. The decision comes in response to a legal petition filed earlier this year by twenty-five beekeepers and environmental organizations, citing significant acute and chronic bee kills across the United States linked to neonicotinoid pesticides, particularly clothianidin. “We’re disappointed. EPA has signaled a willingness to favor pesticide corporations over bees and beekeepers,” said Steve Ellis, a petitioner and owner of Old Mill Honey Co, with operations in California and Minnesota. “This decision puts beekeepers, rural economies and our food system at risk. And the injury we are sustaining this year will be unnecessarily repeated.” This spring and summer, beekeepers from New York to Ohio and Minnesota, are reporting extraordinarily large bee die-offs, due, in part, to exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides. The die-offs are similar to what beekeepers have reported in the past few weeks in Canada (where EPA has admitted there are 120 bee kill reports, a huge number). On average, the U.S. Department […]

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