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EPA Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Bees 410

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-could-that-bee dept.
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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  • EP(what?) (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @01:10AM (#34543132)

    Hmmm and i thought the "P" stood for Protection, but clearly its something to do with Profits and or Pressure.... what a freakin sellout i bet they were pressured to allow more profits by the big agribusiness lobbyists... i guess agribusiness will be the first to cry foul when their crops no longer get fertilised....

    • Re:EP(what?) (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SirGeek (120712) <sirgeek-slashdot ... g ['suc' in gap]> on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @01:58AM (#34543376) Homepage
      If you really want to hurt them, Buy locally produced organic (from a REAL Organic farm). Join a CSA and get good local produce almost year round (one here in Mass goes from June through December, then they have a winter one that goes from Jan through the end of Mar).
      • Re:EP(what?) (Score:4, Informative)

        by kestasjk (933987) * on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @05:40AM (#34544218) Homepage
        Growers of organic food still use pesticides (if you try growing crops without any pesticides you'll realize why).
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cvtan (752695)
          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 t
          • Re:EP(what?) (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @06:33PM (#34553604)

            In addition, you can keep the insect infestation quite low by using chickens. Chickens love to eat insects, so if you corral them into the garden for a set amount of time per day, they'll keep the bugs out. Don't let them stay too long, though, or else they'll start eating the crops.

        • Re:EP(what?) (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @08:33AM (#34544934)

          Growers of organic food still use pesticides (if you try growing crops without any pesticides you'll realize why).

          Some organic growers use it. They use a lot less of it, and only specific chemicals (with little to no synthetic stuff):

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_farming#Pesticides [wikipedia.org]
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_certification [wikipedia.org]

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          if you try growing crops without any pesticides you'll realize why

          Bullshit. When my kids were growing up we lived ina small house with a huge back yard, and we turned most of that back yard into a garden. We grew corn, peas, tomatos, radishes, several kinds of peppers, beans, lettuce, cabbages, blackberries, and one or two others I can't think of right now.

          Not once did we use any pesticides. We did lose some yield to insects, but we lost more to small mammals (rabbits and squirrels), and the only food we ha

    • Re:EP(what?) (Score:4, Insightful)

      by allcar (1111567) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @07:01AM (#34544556)
      This is why leaks are a good thing.
  • Didn't they recently announce discovery of the primary cause for the bee-deaths?

  • 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 Required Snark (1702878) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @01:32AM (#34543244)
    One more example of how Bush and his greedy incompetent Republican asshats have screwed everybody. This stuff is used because of a conditional waiver that was issued in 2003, against the scientific advices of the experts.

    It's just like the BP Gulf oil spill and the coal mine explosion in West Virginia. There are systems in place to protect people and the environment, but when the Republicans gain control they stop all oversight. It takes five to fifteen years to see all the failures, and by then everyone forgets who turned over control to the crooks and lairs.

    They just wave the flag, blame everything on the government bureaucrats and illegal aliens, scream about the war on terror, and then lie and deny when the shit hits the fan. I guess as long as these morons continue to lie and cheat their way into power we deserve to have poisoned gulf seafood and the end of flowering crops.

    Don't worry, you can just consume more high fructose processed food and get diabetes. The corn/agribusiness lobby will continue to do just fine with their massive tax breaks and government subsidies, and they're so rich that they can afford imported fruits and vegetables. If you get sick and loose your health care you can crawl off and die, and that will solve them problem.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Keebler71 (520908)

      One more example of how Bush and his greedy incompetent Republican asshats have screwed everybody. This stuff is used because of a conditional waiver that was issued in 2003, against the scientific advices of the experts.

      It's just like the BP Gulf oil spill and the coal mine explosion in West Virginia. There are systems in place to protect people and the environment, but when the Republicans gain control they stop all oversight. It takes five to fifteen years to see all the failures, and by then everyone forgets who turned over control to the crooks and lairs.

      They just wave the flag, blame everything on the government bureaucrats and illegal aliens, scream about the war on terror, and then lie and deny when the shit hits the fan. I guess as long as these morons continue to lie and cheat their way into power we deserve to have poisoned gulf seafood and the end of flowering crops.

      Don't worry, you can just consume more high fructose processed food and get diabetes. The corn/agribusiness lobby will continue to do just fine with their massive tax breaks and government subsidies, and they're so rich that they can afford imported fruits and vegetables. If you get sick and loose your health care you can crawl off and die, and that will solve them problem.

      Pssstttttt.... 15 years before the events you cited... Clinton was president.

    • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @02:05AM (#34543414)
      I'd just like to add that, while strongly worded, the parent post isn't actually a troll. The Bush adminstration closed a research lab [texasbeekeepers.org] for honeybees and canceled funding for projects that were focused on determining the cause of the mysterious honey bee deaths. It's tempting to say that the Bush administration canceled those projects because it already knew the truth about what was killing the honeybees, but I don't really see how they could have known that precisely was the cause, more than likely they just didn't care.

      As further evidence, the number of lawsuits issued by the EPA dropped by 75% [ens-newswire.com] under the Bush administration. (!) It's no coincidence that during the last decade we had increasing food safety alerts about E. Coli, etc. in our food, increased mercury in bodies of water, etc., etc. etc. This was done intentionally in the belief that applying the following rules always works: "regulation = bad" "business interests = good". Stupid and short-sighted.... (And yet somehow the American people felt it was a good idea to let these guys back into control of congress? WTF? They're going to get what they deserve, the only problem is I'm going to get what they deserve it too since environmental problems affect everyone.)
      • by Moridineas (213502) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @02:25AM (#34543510) Journal

        I'd just like to add that, while strongly worded, the parent post isn't actually a troll

        Let's see, in reality clothianidin was granted full approval this year -- April 2010! That's 4 years of a completely Democratically controlled congress and 2 years of a Democratic House+Senate+President. Most politically appointees from the Bush years are LONG gone by now. Turnover in agencies is incredible around election time. I'm very, very glad to see more stuff of this type appear on Wikileaks (though I wish some other government's dirty laundry would start showing up too). The troll part is being so blindly partisan. IMHO, it's that kind of super-polarized partisanship that helps lead to so many of our political problems.

        Additionally, CCD is occurring around the globe--even in countries that don't use clothiandin.

        As further evidence, the number of lawsuits issued by the EPA dropped by 75% [enO's-newswire.com] under the Bush administration. (!) It's no coincidence that during the last decade we had increasing food safety alerts about E. Coli, etc. in our food, increased mercury in bodies of water, etc., etc. etc

        What on does the EPA have to do with E. coli outbreaks? Does the EPA really control wild boards running through spinach fields? Or indeed have ANYTHING to do with that situation?

        • by ppanon (16583) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @03:37AM (#34543794) Homepage Journal

          Does the EPA really control wild boards running through spinach fields? Or indeed have ANYTHING to do with that situation?

          Well that's the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However I think the point the gentleman was making was that the Republicans (in particular their "libertarian" wing) have this tendency to gut red tape, minimize government enforcement, and count on industry self-monitoring and "voluntary guidelines" with the expectation that the free market will redress all wrongs. That doesn't happen with car emissions, with pollution controls, with pharmaceuticals (remember snake oil salesmen promoted snake oil for curing all sorts of ailments), or Ponzi schemes gussied up as investment funds. It also doesn't work when there are only around 7 major meat packing companies in the country and safety problems in one producer create significant shortages that drive up the price and force vendors to turn back to suppliers that have proved themselves unsafe in the past. Too big to fail doesn't just happen to banks. There are areas where excessive regulation may be caused by overzealous bureaucrats, but food safety is one where I generally prefer to err on the side of safety.

          The one exception I would make regarding food safety, if I could still eat cheese, has to do with the mandated pasteurization of soft cheeses. Put warning labels on the cheese and keep them away from small children and pregnant women, but let me make that choice. It's telling that there have been far fewer deaths in Western Europe from unpasteurised cheeses than there have been in Canada or the US with listeria or E. Coli outbreaks from inspected meat plants. Mainly I find it ridiculous that you can't buy an unpasteurized brie, but cigarettes are sold by the carton at the checkout stand,

    • by kestasjk (933987) * on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @05:51AM (#34544254) Homepage

      This stuff is used because of a conditional waiver that was issued in 2003, against the scientific advices of the experts.

      Bees are in decline in europe as well, and the decline has been going on since before 2003.

      Maybe this conditional waiver was bad for the environment, I wouldn't be at all surprised, but to think that it's the root cause of the problem is pretty childish.. The world isn't so simple

    • by Boronx (228853) <evonreis@mohr - e n g i n e e r i ng.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.

  • how did this stay hidden so long

  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @01:37AM (#34543270) Homepage Journal
    Come again ?

    North american bee population has been declining, scientists estimated that in a few decades this would affect everything in agriculture (pollination), and trying to solve it. it was even dubbed end of mankind. it was that serious.

    Now it turns out that, your government has allowed bee-killing pesticides. noone heard about it. no journalist made news of it. no ngo was warned of it. NOONE KNEW. if wikileaks didnt leak it, you would not know about it, still.

    tell me now, who are the real terrorists ? the ones letting you know that your entire ecosystem and agriculture is being killed by corporations which have been allowed by your government, or, those corporations and the government themselves ?

    wise up. support wikileaks. it is giving you the control over your government that was taken away from you.
    • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @02:21AM (#34543490)

      You need to relax. It's quite simple if you understand Friedmannite economics. Cutting corporate taxes and deregulation will resolve all of our problems. The Free Market will come up with a cheaper, better solution to bee pollination.

      • by kestasjk (933987) *

        You need to relax. It's quite simple if you understand Friedmannite economics. Cutting corporate taxes and deregulation will resolve all of our problems. The Free Market will come up with a cheaper, better solution to bee pollination.

        Actually large-scale farms which want everything pollinated and thus ready for harvest in one go purchase the services of large-scale beekeepers, which drive farmed bees to the area in hive trucks and leave them there while they pollinate. By the time they die off it's mission accomplished, and growing bees artificially wherever you want isn't under threat like the naturally occurring bees that pollinate wild flowers.

        The "free market (i.e. people earning a living) have already figured out the pollination

        • by Chmcginn (201645)

          Actually large-scale farms which want everything pollinated and thus ready for harvest in one go purchase the services of large-scale beekeepers, which drive farmed bees to the area in hive trucks and leave them there while they pollinate. By the time they die off it's mission accomplished, and growing bees artificially wherever you want isn't under threat like the naturally occurring bees that pollinate wild flowers.

          Except that it's the colonies used by commercial beekeepers that are among the hardest-hit by CCD, and their replenishment programs can't keep up with the loss. If a cure for CCD can't be found, in a few years the supply of hives will be lower than the demand for pollination services.

          • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @08:09AM (#34544814)

            If a cure for CCD can't be found, in a few years the supply of hives will be lower than the demand for pollination services.

            And the market wins again.

            When demand outstrips supply the suppliers can up their prices. They'll make a lot more money.
            Now, since the food growers can't get enough bees to pollinate their crops, the supply of food will dwindle - more expensive food, meaning more money for the growers.
            This means that regular workers have to work more to buy the same amount and kinds of food. That means the supply of workers will outstrip demand and salaries can be cut. That's another win for the market and the companies in particular.

            It's Win/Win/Win for the market economy - what's not to like?

    • by traindirector (1001483) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @04:37AM (#34543962)

      While WikiLeaks is a current and exciting topic, the clothianidin/EPA leak has nothing to do with WikiLeaks [fastcompany.com].

      Quoting a prominent secondary story linked from TFA [fastcompany.com]:

      So how did Theobald (pictured above) end up with such a contentious document?

      Bayer, the corporation behind clothianidin (the pesticide in question), published a life cycle study about it in 2006 at the EPA's request. The study was flawed--test and control fields were, for example, planted as close as 968 feet apart. But the EPA continued to allow the use of clothianidin, which has been on the market since 2003 for use on corn, canola, soy, sugar beets, sunflowers, and wheat (and which has been banned by Germany, France, Italy, and Slovenia for its toxic effects on bees, birds, and other species).

      Fast forward to this year. Theobald wrote an article in the July issue of Bee Culture about clothianidin. Then an employee at the EPA called Theobald to tell him the article had led the EPA to review the pesticide's original life cycle study before approving clothianidin for use on cotton and mustard.

      "They told me that EPA scientists had reviewed the original lifecycle study and determined it wasn't scientifically sound, and I asked if it had been documented, if there was a hard copy," he says, "The [employee] said yes, and I asked if I could get a copy." And just like that, he had the proof he needed that the EPA had overlooked something that could be killing America's bees.

      • by scdeimos (632778)

        While WikiLeaks is a current and exciting topic, the clothianidin/EPA leak has nothing to do with WikiLeaks.

        Thank you!

        Somebody probably got confused because TFA is titled, "Wik-Bee Leaks: EPA Document Shows It Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Honey Bees"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by DMiax (915735)

      Enough with the crazy doomsaying.

      Capitalism will solve this problem as all the others. Soon Monsanto will be announcing genetically modified bees that will resist to the pesticide.

      All will be well, except that these bees will somehow kill all cows. At which point Monsanto will give us those better, iron-skinned OGM cows they are working on *right* *now*.

      They are incredibly strong and resistant, so much that your head will explode when you try to chew their meat. Enter the OGM humans. They can shoot laser be

  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @01:41AM (#34543278) Homepage

    So when anything bad happens involving some private enterprise, someone on here usually has some stupid comment like "I thought the free market would make life perfect."

    Well, let me be the one to offer a hypothesis: people are no good and there is no perfect system because of people. Or if we want to be sarcastic too "I thought government regulators were going to make life perfect."

    • by copponex (13876) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @03:10AM (#34543686) Homepage

      It's because there are idiots out there known as "libertarians" who believe that emasculating the government will solve everything. They are just as fucking wrong as utopian communists.

      A transparent market is an amazing thing, but unfortunately, a market desires to be opaque in order to increase profits. Unless you have a strong and largely uncorrupted government to continue providing transparency, you don't have a market. You have a conspiratorial oligopoly that will risk destroying entire ecosystems to push up quarterly profits.

    • There's a difference between being responsible and acting in good faith and letting your narrow self-interest damage others.

      When a chemical company invents a pesticide or hebicide that enables farmers to grow more food or avoid some sort of difficult or dangerous manual labor, that's a good thing. When pesticide has wider-ranging effects that can negatively effect the greater environment or economic fortunes of others, and that same company obfuscates or actively funds research to deflect attention, that is

    • You are with the faith based economics community apparently.

      But let us not forget the grand (socialist) bail out of the right which they begged dear nanny state so they could pay their rich friends with so they wouldn't suffer any losses. But yet they can't afford to help the homeless or the poor right?

      It's ok when the federal reserve gives the warm embrace of socialism to the rich. Trillions in offsheet balance transactions to domestic and foreign multinational corporations.

      http://dailybail.com/home/there- [dailybail.com]

    • by geekoid (135745)

      This has nothign to do with CCD, the EPA had no reason not to allow this, and this article is just a knee jerk reaction by someone who doesn't really know how to think about a subject.

      Regulation has made life a hell of a lot better.While there are people who literal say 'The free market is perfect' there is no one that says 'Regulation is perfect'.

      People who claim the invisible hand of the free market is perfect either haven't studied history, or make money through some sort of shell game.

  • I think it's time to consider banning EPA itself. Seriously, those fuckers are a joke. Kill it with fire and replace with something that has more teeth. Do the same to FDA as well.

    • The EPA as a whole isn't the problem. It's that thin, but corrupt as hell, veneer between the scientists and the policy makers that is the problem. There are so many stories of corruption (like the administrator who edited a climate change report then went to work for Big Oil) like this. But, no substantial changes will ever occur since our country has gone over the Fascism cliff. We are totally at the beck and call of corporate interests now. Yes, I'm saying our country is on its death bed.

    • by comp.sci (557773)
      The FDA? The FDA is extremely aggressive and restrictive compared to European regulators for instance. This results in drugs reaching the U.S. market much later. One can argue that this delay causes more damage than by introducing drugs a bit earlier.
  • 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...
    • by gmhowell (26755)

      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.

      Good, because those aren't the issue. The issues are that 9/11 was an inside job, and Obama is a foreign born Muslim.

    • by Esteanil (710082) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @07:42AM (#34544722) Homepage Journal
      The study you are referencing was made by Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk, who has economical ties to Bayer (The producer of the pesticide cited). Ref: NYT via http://www.ktradionetwork.com/tag/dr-jerry-bromenshenk/ [ktradionetwork.com]
      • That article comes from the Natural News, a website known for misinformation and just plain bad facts. Who are you going to believe, a peer reviewed article by a scientist, or a hack job by a dodgy news service?

        That a scientist working in agriculture has ties to a company working in agriculture is not surprising. An accusation that he made up data however, is serious. Serious claims need more than Natural News backing them up (BTW the NYT article appears to be backing up Dr Bromenshenk, not supporting the
  • by Entropius (188861) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @02:12AM (#34543442)

    My father is an entomologist for a university Extension Service. For those who don't know (non-Americans), the Extension Services are outreach arms of the universities set up to provide advice to the public. His main job is to advise farmers on pest control measures for crops, mostly cotton; the advice is often "if you spray to kill pest A, you'll also kill predator B, which eats pest C which is resistant to insecticide, and C will eat your cotton. So don't do anything and put up with A, they won't eat that much."

    Many of the meetings are sponsored by chemical companies. There are responsible uses of insecticides; used wisely, some insecticides can provide a cost-effective way to increase yields with very minimal long-term environmental harm. But the chemical companies are corrupt as hell. They try to bribe the scientists with lavish gifts to publish studies that favor their products, and encourage farmers (and scientists) to use too much insecticide, or use it when it's not really appropriate. It's sham science done for the sake of greed, and it is disgusting.

    On the flip side, there are "studies" that show environmental harm where there really isn't any -- either by misguided "everything must be grown organically" types, or by people pushing back against the chemical company propaganda.

    It's hard to tell a damn thing from "studies" on this sort of thing, because everyone is so busy grinding axes that who's right and who's wrong gets completely lost. This makes me, as a scientist in another field where there is far less of that, rather angry.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You've also described how modern medicine works as well.

      • by Entropius (188861)

        Yes, although I have less firsthand experience with it. But I know a little about stats as a physicist, and I've seen some stats presented in medical studies that are *impossible* -- things like chisquared/d.o.f. consistently less than unity, which only happens if you are fudging things (or overestimating your errors).

  • Those crazy germans. (Score:4, Interesting)

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

    Bayer: the people who gave us Heroin.

    really [a1b2c3.com]

  • by mysidia (191772) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @02:35AM (#34543542)

    These leaks MUST be stopped immediately, and those responsible must go to jail for life, and execution may even be warranted. I am sure the EPA will be acting quickly to ensure those responsible for the leaks are rapidly brought to justice.

    This is a clear and dire threat to national security, and the leakers are traitors; think of what will happen when the Bees find out the nature of the pesticide, and the informants who formulated it!

    This will only serve to cause more incidents of bee attacks against us, costing precious human lives.

    Lives are at stake; and the leakers are enemy combatants performing an act of terrorism

    <sarcasm>

  • by Burnhard (1031106) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @03:53AM (#34543842)
    I was reading just yesterday [nytimes.com] that the bee population was being affected by a combination of a virus and a fungus and that this is the main reason for the decline.
    • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @09:09AM (#34545092)

      Yeah, except the NY Times article failed to mention that that study was funded by Bayer Crop Sciences, whose product was the principle other suspect behind Colony Collapse Disorder.

      See this CNN piece in response to the NY Times article: http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/08/news/honey_bees_ny_times.fortune/index.htm [cnn.com]

      And this article posted a few threads up: http://www.ktradionetwork.com/tag/dr-jerry-bromenshenk/ [ktradionetwork.com]

      Not clear what the real answer is, but it just goes to show that it's easier to mislead a New York Times journalist than one would think and that any scientific study that answers questions of economic significance are subject to meddling with money. Though we sometimes assume that scientists are truly objective, they are human beings and subject to biases and influence like the rest of us.

      These sorts of potential conflicts of interest need to be better disclosed - and it's rather embarrassing that the New York Times never published a clarification or follow-up story about this (at least as far as I know).

  • Hmm, is that why we had an INSANE amount of bees here in Finland this summer? They were literally everywhere, and in large colonies. They were even out at sea and in the archipelago, which is somewhat rare.
  • Real data (Score:4, Informative)

    by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Tuesday December 14, 2010 @05:00AM (#34544044) Homepage

    Here is the EU data on the pesticide [herts.ac.uk].

    Some highlights: It is an insecticide, so it should not really surprise that it kills bees. The toxitity to honey bees is well known (LD50 = 0.004 ug/bee, which the document interpret as "high" risk). And it is approved for use in most EU countries, including Italy and Germany.

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