Bayer and Syngenta criticised for secrecy after unpublished research obtained under freedom of information law linked high doses of their products to damage to the health of bee colonies
Unpublished field trials by pesticide manufacturers show their products cause serious harm to honeybees at high levels, leading to calls from senior scientists for the companies to end the secrecy which cloaks much of their research.
The research, conducted by Syngenta and Bayer on their neonicotinoid insecticides, were submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency and obtained by Greenpeace after a freedom of information request.
Beginning on January 1 2018, legislation banning consumer use of neonicotinoid pesticides will take effect. Allegedly prompted by concerns that neonicotinoid pesticides are responsible for the increase in deaths for butterflies, bees and birds, SB 198/HB 211 was provided as a partial solution.
Under the bill, anyone who violates the ban, will be subject to a $250 civil penalty but the violation will not be considered a misdemeanor. The ban will apply to both the sale and use of imidacloprid, acetamiprid, dinotefuran, nithiazine, clothianidin, thiacloprid, thiamethoxam and any other chemical that has been designated to be a neonicotinoid by the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
Banned for the Consumer…not Industry
Interestingly enough, however, while the bill focuses on consumer use of these pesticides, it includes exemptions for farmers, veterinarians and “certified applicators.” Continue reading »
New data revealed today shows bees can be exposed to more pesticides from contaminated wildflowers than from crops on farms. The research, discussed at a scientific briefing in London on 28 April 2016 organised by the Soil Association, showed a staggering 97% of the neonicotinoids brought back to honeybee hives in pollen could come from wildflowers – not oilseed rape. (1)
The briefing looked at the latest scientific research and its implications for the environment and the future use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the UK. The panel included three leading experts on the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on our pollinators – Professor Dave Goulson, Dr Lynn Dicks and Dr Penelope Whitehorn. Peter Campbell from Syngenta responded to the presentations from the three scientists. Continue reading »
German supermarket chain Aldi, has become the first major European retailer to ban pesticides that are toxic to bees, including neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. All suppliers of produce sold in Aldi stores across Europe and the U.S. are now required not to use those pesticides during production.
The announcement came on January 1st, and was a great way to start the New Year, with the retailer expecting fruit and vegetable suppliers to comply with their new policy ASAP. The decision comes after a great deal of public pressure, and coincides with the German retailer’s decision to ban the herbicide chemical glyphosate from its produce. Continue reading »
“A single seed coated with a neonicotinoid insecticide is enough to kill a songbird.”
United States — A new study by the Environmental Protection Agency has found evidence through a study that backs what activists and environmentalists have asserted for years: one of the most widely used neonicotinoid pesticides can, indeed, cause declines in honeybee populations. But the agency’s findings are too little, too late for many farmers and food safety advocates, who consider the EPA neglectfully responsible for widespread employment of neonicotinoids.Driving the urgency of the point even further, researchers with Sussex University discovered something far more alarming: wildflowers growing near neonicotinoid-treated crops play host to a “chemical cocktail” which has an impact on bees 1,000 times more potent than previously believed. Continue reading »
As you are aware, honey bees have been suffering from something called Colony Collapse Disorder. In practice, what this means is that the bees simply vanish from their hives, leaving behind their most precious worldly possessions: honey and larvae.
What causes these mysterious vanishing acts has been something of a mystery. But because the phenomenon began really ramping up in 2006, we can focus in on some suspects. Continue reading »
Syngenta is asking federal regulators to increase the allowable levels of some pesticides, even though experts have linked the chemicals to massive bee die offs.
The company wants the Environmental Protection Agency to pass an increase of 4.9 parts per million of thiamethoxan. The current allowable level is 0.1ppm, Syngenta wants it increased to 5.0ppm. You can read the details on the regulations.gov website which published the request on September 5th. The request itself was filed on August 22nd.
By 2016, the agency plans to have completely phased out neonicotinoids, or neonics, for agricultural use throughout Region 1, or the Pacific Northwest. Parts of Region 1 include Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon and Washington (click here for map).
A class of pesticides widely blamed for a worldwide collapse in pollinator populations is also devastating populations of birds, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands and the Centre for Field Ornithology and Birdlife Netherlands, and published in the journal Nature on July 16.
The chemicals, known as neonicotinoids, have increasingly come under fire for widespread destruction of organisms other than agricultural pests. Continue reading »
Environmental and food safety groups yesterday challenged California’s illegal practice of approving new agricultural uses for neonicotinoid pesticides despite mounting evidence that the pesticides are devastating honey bees.
Pesticide Action Network, Center for Food Safety and Beyond Pesticides, represented by Earthjustice, filed the legal challenge in the California Superior Court for the County of Alameda, urging the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to stop approving neonicotinoid pesticides pending its completion of a comprehensive scientific review of impacts to honeybees. The DPR began its scientific review in early 2009 after it received evidence that neonicotinoids are killing bees, but five years later, the DPR has yet to take meaningful action to protect bees.
Meanwhile, the DPR has continued to allow increased use of neonicotinoids in California. Yesterday’s lawsuit challenges the DPR’s June 13 decision to expand the use of two powerful neonicotinoid insecticides—sold under the trademarks Venom Insecticide and Dinotefuran 20SG —despite the agency’s still-pending review of impacts to pollinators. The case underscores these larger problems with the DPR’s unwillingness to comply with laws enacted to ensure that pesticides do not threaten human health, agriculture or the environment. Continue reading »
Washington, D.C. – Many “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) have been pre-treated with pesticides shown to harm and kill bees, according to a study released today by Friends of the Earth and allies.
The study, Gardeners Beware 2014, shows that 36 out of 71 (51 percent) of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides — a key contributor to recent bee declines. Some of the flowers contained neonic levels high enough to kill bees outright assuming comparable concentrations are present in the flowers’ pollen and nectar. Further, 40 percent of the positive samples contained two or more neonics. Continue reading »
ELMWOOD – Local beekeepers are finding millions of their bees dead just after corn was planted here in the last few weeks. Dave Schuit, who has a honey operation in Elmwood, lost 600 hives, a total of 37 million bees.
“Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” Schuit said. He and many others, including the European Union, are pointing the finger at a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc. used in planting corn and some other crops. The European Union just recently voted to ban these insecticides for two years, beginning December 1, 2013, to be able to study how it relates to the large bee kill they are experiencing there also.
Local grower Nathan Carey from the Neustadt, and National Farmers Union Local 344 member, says he noticed this spring the lack of bees and bumblebees on his farm. He believes that there is a strong connection between the insecticide use and the death of pollinators.