Leaked EPA Memos May Explain Massive Bee Die-Off

HoneybeeCMD's guest blogger, Jill Richardson, has done some ground-breaking reporting on the potential cause of the massive bee die-off.  According to Jill's investigation, leaked U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) memos reveal that the agency gave conditional approval to pesticides now in wide use, without requiring adequate proof that they are safe to use around honeybees. In the wake of the new information, beekeepers are starting to blame the country's massive die-off of honeybees on the pesticides. A leaked EPA memo dated November 2, 2010, discusses Bayer CropScience's efforts to legalize use of its pesticide clothianidin on mustard seed and cotton crops. EPA gave conditional approval for the chemical in 2003 and let Bayer start selling it, but told the company that they needed to complete further safety testing by a certain deadline to get full approval. The  additional testing was to assure the chemical was safe to use around honeybees. Bayer failed to do the testing for years, and instead sought and received an extension of the conditional permit to use the chemical. When Bayer finally performed the study, they did it in another country, and on crops that aren't grown much in the U.S. Bayer also used bees that were located on a small patch of treated crops surrounded by thousands of acres on untreated crops -- a design that handed Bayer the result it wanted by making the chemical appear safe to use. EPA deemed the defective study acceptable and gave full registration to clothianidin in 2007. In November, 2010, when Bayer asked to extend use of the pesticide to more types of crops, EPA still did not comment on the inadequacy of Bayer's study. Beekeepers are incensed at this information, and along with others are asking why EPA allows pesticides to go onto the market before they have been adequately safety tested. They also wonder how sound the science around such studies can be when they are performed by the pesticide makers themselves.


"...the problem is the bees when visiting flowers after the insecticide has been sprayed pick up tainted pollen..." is NOT the problem: the problem is that YOU apply the pesticide.

You will/can find many, even a large amount of people in Germany who will willingly help you go after Bayer for their use of pesticides. Contact the Green Party (Bundnes90,DerGruenen) Find it on the internet. You will have more help than you ever expected, people who can and will be very receptive to your complaint about Bayer and know the legal system to boot. Just Do It! The "after the war" generation is very active about things like this.

I wouldn't call English Language German TV "Propaganda". They do have one show that promotes German companies, but they also investigative shows just like most channels do.

I've been noticing fewer and fewer bees in the LA Metro area, but its not like they have gone completely. Whatever is killing bees should be stopped and I am in full support of eliminating whatever is killing them.

Bees are not even aggressive except for some certain situations. But that's not likely to be encountered by the average person.

I have been both a scientist and a lawyer. This is typical of what happens when we adopt a deregulate philosphy. For years, the EPA is underfunded, understaffed, and staffed by corporate cronies. Adopting a policy of non-enforcement, is that same as de-regulating. We will see the same thing happen to the enviroment that happened to the mortgage market.
The term ecnomists use is "externalities." Externalities are things, produced or used by a corporation - such as pollution, sick and dead people, schools and roads, that if a corporation had to pay for, it would lose profits. The strategy of corporations is to pass externalities off onto someone else, usually you and me. Corporation use our roads and educated workforce, but seek huge tax reductions. When corporations pollute, like in Texas, they seek laws making that tax the public for the pollution. When corporations lend irresonpsiblly, they seek federal bailouts.
Dead honeybees (and whatever fallout this will have on the environment) and proper testing of the Bayer pesticide are just another externality that you and me will have its pay for. The lobbyists will make sure that our courts and congressmen will not make Bayer liable. For instance, our Supreme Court is busy passing laws that cut down on deterents for such conduct.
One such deterent is punitive damages. Punitive damages are put in place to recoup the profits that corporations recieved from not having to pay for the externalities. in a civil suit; our highest court in the the Exxon Valdez case made certain that Exxon would benefit from never having to pay for the externality of the contaminated Alaskan coastline by stripping the punitive damages award bare.
Another is the treble damage provision in the EPA rules. However, one only has to look at General Electric and its dumping of PCB's into the Hudson to understand that the decision to allow a corporation to pollute with impunity is political. Because of politics the dredging of the Hudson by GE was delayed for years. GE fought it tooth and nail, and used every last political connection it had to avoid the clean up.
I am sure Bayer found that the pesticide was safe for humans to. I would not mind seeing the data, if its like the bee dats, we could be in some serious trouble. But, I am sure Bayer would not value profits over human lives.

You say ..."I am sure Bayer would not value profits over human lives." You got that wrong. They knowingly sold Aids-infected drugs in Europe, Asia and Latin America when it was discovered and they could no longer sell it in the U.S. These mega-corporations have no regard for the earth or for human life.

ALEC lawyers actually write the Bills the GOP make into laws. Bayer is on the list of ALEC..

No wonder Ron Paul wants to get rid of the EPA. He's not wrong.

Throw the baby out with the bathwater? Are you crazy? How many corporate-compliant people are involved in EPA officaldom? Weren't there reports of some "wrong" people getting appointed to the EPA by a previous administration? Don't get rid of the EPA -- it's our only opportunity for protection and regulation! Change some of the people who manage it!

The EPA is subject solely to the whim of the President, and that needs to stop. Richard Nixon brought the EPA into being after killing every other scientific advisory or regulatory office in government.

The EPA will never really be able to do its job without proper funding and a greater degree of autonomy.