Bee Deaths Caused By EPA Approved Pesticide

U.S. Bee Deaths Caused By EPA Approved Pesticide:

 

U.S. Bee Deaths Caused By EPA Approved Pesticide

U.S. Bee Deaths Caused By EPA Approved Pesticide

 

The world honey bee population has plunged in recent years, worrying beekeepers and farmers who know how critical bee pollination is for many crops. A number of theories have popped up as to why the North American honey bee population has declined–electromagnetic radiation, malnutrition, and climate change have all been pinpointed. Now a leaked EPA document reveals that the agency allowed the widespread use of a bee-toxic pesticide, despite warnings from EPA scientists.

The document, which was leaked to a Colorado beekeeper, shows that the EPA has ignored warnings about the use of clothianidin, a pesticide produced by Bayer that mainly is used to pre-treat corn seeds. The pesticide scooped up $262 million in sales in 2009 by farmers, who also use the substance on canola, soy, sugar beets, sunflowers, and wheat, according to Grist.

The leaked document (PDF) was put out in response to Bayer’s request to approve use of the pesticide on
cotton and mustard. The document invalidates a prior Bayer study that justified the registration of clothianidin on the basis of its safety to honeybees:

Clothianidin’s major risk concern is to nontarget insects (that is, honey bees). Clothianidin is a neonicotinoid insecticide that is both persistent and systemic. Acute toxicity studies to honey bees show that clothianidin is highly toxic on both a contact and an oral basis. Although EFED does not conduct RQ based risk assessments on non-target insects, information from standard tests and field studies, as well as incident reports involving other neonicotinoids insecticides (e.g., imidacloprid) suggest the potential for long-term toxic risk to honey bees and other beneficial insects.

The entire 101-page memo is damning (and worth a read). But the opinion of EPA scientists apparently isn’t enough for the agency, which is allowing clothianidin to keep its registration…

Monsanto’s Linked to Serious Soil Damage

Monsanto’s Roundup Pesticide Linked to Serious Soil Damage:

Glyphosate

Glyphosate

Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup pesticide, is being linked to damaged soil and roots of treated plants, finds 15 years of study, according to a representative from the USDA. Fungal root disease has increased among farmers using the popular Roundup pesticide, particularly on the Monsanto genetically modified Roundup Ready seeds, according to Bob Kremer, a microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. GM corn and soybeans represent a majority of Roundup dependent crops grown in the U.S., and this “invisible” plight of changes in soil bacteria and increased presence of fungus could indicate larger problems ahead with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready and other GMO seeds. With so many farmers in the U.S. now dependent on glyphosate pesticides and genetically modified seeds, the implications of widespread soil fungus are tremendous as a resistant fungus could devastate farms. The presence of newly discovered glyphosate resistant “superweeds” are already taking a toll on farmers’ crops and machinery. The research also revealed that the controversial genetically altered crops are not showing signs of yielding more than conventional crops, despite that being one of the key selling points of genetically modified seed manufacturers including Monsanto. Nutrient deficiencies linked to the root disease problems are likely a limiting factor, Kremer says, and the fungal diseases could limit crop health and production even further in the future warranting significantly more research. Among the growing concerns over heavy use of glyphosate based pesticides are links to human and livestock health risks including cancer, fertility issues, birth defects, organ damage and neurological disorders.