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Earth Government News Science

EPA Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Bees 410

hether writes "The mystery of the disappearing bees has been baffling scientists for years and now we get another big piece in the puzzle. From Fast Company: '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.' Now environmentalists and bee keepers are calling for an immediate ban of the pesticide clothianidin, sold by Bayer Crop Science under the brand name Poncho."
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EPA Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Bees

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  • Seed Enhancement (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nonillion (266505) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @01:27AM (#34543212)

    I work in seed enhancement, fortunately, I don't order clothianidin (Poncho) from Bayer Crop Science. However I do order Thiram, Captan and Allegiance (aka Apron FL) from Bayer. Most of these chemicals are used to control pythium, however I've always wondered if these were responsible for the bee hive die offs.

  • by monkyyy (1901940) <> on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @01:33AM (#34543250)

    how did this stay hidden so long

  • Re:Some Questions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @01:53AM (#34543344) Homepage Journal

    The Green Revolution, heralded by former USAID director William Gaud, is a Malthusian population control mechanism. Oh. USAID? An operational front for the CIA []

    It was designed to create maximum crop yield for a 20-50 year period, with a maximum of industrialization and a minimization of farm labour.

    The result of which was to create a vacuum of occupational opportunity in the rural communities, which in the 1960's were still the hubs of livelihood for much of the population in the US, Canada and Western Europe.

    A migrational trend to urban population centers - abetted by making college/university education cheap and widely available - resulted in a generation transferring from rural existence to urban dwelling. With the former were left behind strong community ties, and the possibility for reasonable self-sufficiency. These were exchanged for "upwardly mobile' creature comforts, that also isolated the individual from his peers, and rendered him an entirely dependent creature - entirely divorced from the skills and capability to feed, clothe and shelter himself and his family. Instead, this ability was replaced through complex commercial abstractions - herded into urban and suburban enclaves.

    There never needed to be FEMA camps. The urban existance of late-20th century "modern" life was a honeypot, into which a society hurled itself, with little regard to the consequences for its prized independence and the foundation of its liberty.

    Now, what are you going to do, when the collection of rainwater is enforced as a felony? Did you know that Detroit just suspended garbage collection and police patrolling in 20% of the city?

    The bad Science Fiction dystopia is real.

    The bees? Just a late stage of this sad, intentional collapse...

  • Hold on now... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @02:08AM (#34543420)
    This sounds bad, and I admit that this is the first I've heard about this particular pesticide being especially toxic to bees, but let's not get carried away. The longstanding mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder in bees has pretty much been solved. A few months ago, it was published that a double whammy of a fungus and a virus acting at the same time are almost certainly what have decimated bee populations around the world. A bee colony can usually survive either of the two pathogens, and it will recover, but being hit by both at the same time is deadly. The science behind this conclusion looked sound, and most experts have agreed. Sure, this pesticide has clearly not helped bees, and perhaps a ban is in order, but it is not the main factor behind all the recent hubbub about honeybees.

    I don't want to hear anything about evil electromagnetic radiation, cell phones, wifi, government conspiracies, aliens, a grassy knoll, or malnutrition induced by an exploding pooh bear population. The answer is simple and makes sense. Bee populations have suffered around the world, including where there is neither ubiquitous wifi nor this pesticide, and the virus/fungus combo has been found everywhere anyone has looked. Now, maybe aliens brought the virus and communists spread the fungus, but...
  • Those crazy germans. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by QuantumG (50515) * <> on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @02:20AM (#34543482) Homepage Journal

    Bayer: the people who gave us Heroin.

    really []

  • Re:Some Questions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arivanov (12034) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @04:34AM (#34543954) Homepage

    Somehow I am not surprised.

    It is also the only country to go against the flow and invest on a crazy scale into government sponsored agricultural research.

    Why do you thing Australian wines are marching victoriously even across old wine producing countries? Why do you think 100+ year old vineries in Europe are throwing out their traditional tech and using Australian? In fact a lot of the ones we think as "traditional" are actually now aussie tech and even part-owned by them. It is because they have spent a colossal amount on government sponsored research into this over the last 50 odd years.

    Same with everything else. It is a textbook example that there are cases where pinko commie government intervention actually works and when it works - when it is an investment into foundations and infrastructure through R&D while leaving the private enterprises utilise it after that.

    On the subject of bees - they have long invested into research in pesticide minimisation techniques at a government level and they have spent a shedload of money on it. As a result, I am not surprised that they are laughing madly Kookaburra sitting on an old gum tree style while the rest of the developed world is running around like headless chickins.

  • Re:EP(what?) (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cvtan (752695) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @08:03AM (#34544792)
    Organic farmers around here (upstate NY) absolutely do not use pesticides and the people I've talked to claim large losses in the 30-50% range due to pests and disease. I don't see how they make any money. I have tried growing vegetables for the past few years without pesticides and you get almost nothing. I have to say that the major loss is due to foraging animals (rabbits, birds, etc.), but something like acorn squash will be 90% taken out by beetles passing on a fatal bacterial infection. If I had to make a living growing produce "organically", I would starve.
  • by digsbo (1292334) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @08:08AM (#34544806)

    I see this often, and I suspect it is an actual class of logical fallacy...

    I don't think it's a class of logical fallacy. I think it's a failure to sincerely engage in dialectic, or more likely, an example of bad rhetoric.

    Dialectic requires asking questions, but the questioner must be interested in the answers, and agree to them or follow-up with relevant questions.

    Rhetoric, as opposed to dialectic, is more a means of suasion than a logical approach to discovering the truth, and probably what was intended here.

    Note that dialectic is not widely taught in the USA, even at the college level liberal arts curricula. I suspect that has a great deal to do with the sad state of discourse.

  • Re:Some Questions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by luther349 (645380) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @09:17AM (#34545134)
    i came from Pontiac mi.and i can tell you i saw this coming and moved years ago. i think most people with the means to get out did by now. so what you got left behind are the very rich or very poor. if you ever where to visit there you would see so many houses for sale per city block. i sold my house at a huge lose just to get out. but many other houses never sold. mi went to hell when they lost there only means of jobs and money the automotive industry. the unions killed off that by offering people insane pay rates driving up everything else and it eventually collapsed on its-self when car sales slowed. then when other business tried to open up shop there they would hit them with insane tax rates. i can tell you from having a business there unless you bribe every city official they close you down. so that states downfall was there own doing.
  • by Boronx (228853) <evonreis AT mohr-engineering DOT com> on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @10:16AM (#34545626) Homepage Journal

    Rick Perlstein called them "E. Coli conservatives", because they think helping big business make more money is more important than protecting the food supply from deadly bacteria. The name comes from the Bush era FDA, much hobbled and reduced, and the rash of tainted food deaths that happened under its oversight. But the absolute nadir was when the Bush administration took a slaughter house to court to try to stop them from testing each cow for Mad Cow disease and use the negative results for marketing. They did this on behalf of the rest of the cattle industry, which was afraid they'd have to follow suit and a bunch of positives would turn up.

  • Re:Not like Slashdot (Score:4, Interesting)

    by radtea (464814) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @12:53PM (#34547618)

    A good capitalist would admit that he or she fucked up and do something about it.

    Nope, a good capitalist would try to game the system, which almost always has a better cost/benefit ratio than admiting to a screw-up.

    This is just a fact: it is almost always "better"--for some widely accepted standard of "better"--to lie, distract, bully and corrupt than it is to admit the truth, take responsibility for it, and move on.

    I used to believe otherwise, but too many years of watching "good capitalists" make exactly that kind of rational economic calculation proved me wrong, and as a rational empiricist I changed my mind about the question.

    The only stable, sane society is one in which various interests are maintained in a balance of power, and to balance the huge interests of dishonest, corrupt capitalists we need a large, democratic, transparent and relatively powerful government. The transparency and democracy are key, of course, as otherwise it will fall into all the well-known bad behaviour that humans get up to when given unchecked power.

1 Mole = 25 Cagey Bees