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Ban Bayer’s Clothiandin Pesticide – Save The Bees

Recently leaked EPA documents reveal that Bayer’s Clothiandin pesticide kills honey bees. (via Earth Files)

“Clothianidin is highly toxic to honey bees.”
– Leaked EPA Document, November 2, 2010

Beekeeper Who Leaked EPA Documents: “I Don’t Think We Can Survive This Winter” (via Fast Company)

Theobald has been concerned about clothianidin since it was first released in 2003. The pesticide is a neonicotinoid–a type of insecticide that disrupts the central nervous system of insects. Imidacloprid, the first neonicotinoid to be released in the U.S., came on the market in 1994, and began raising red flags soon after. France banned imidacloprid in 2003 due to concerns of bee die-off triggered by the substance.

Now the stakes are higher than ever. Tom Theobald’s honey crop this year is the smallest he’s seen in 35 years of beekeeping. “This is the critical winter for the beekeeping industry. I don’t think we can survive,” he says. “If the beekeeping industry collapses, it jeopardizes a third of American agriculture.”

Einstein was right – honey bee collapse threatens global food security (via Telegraph)
This recent article in The Telegraph reaches similar conclusions. Additionally it raises some interesting points:

The bee crisis has been treated as a niche concern until now, but as the UN’s index of food prices hits an all time-high in real terms (not just nominal) and grain shortages trigger revolutions in the Middle East, it is becoming urgent to know whether the plight of the honey bee risks further exhausting our already thin margin of food global security.

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I wanted to seek out an expert opinion to weigh in on the various data, and give their own assessment of the impact of Clothiandin and neotiniconoid pesticides. So I reached out to Barbu Demian, a veteran chemist with over 30 years of experience. He shared his thoughts with us:

I’m not an expert in pesticides, but from reading this collection of documents I am inclined to consider the certification of the neonicotinoid insecticides a mistake. The actions in the UK House of Commons are very telling. A highly toxic compound, systemic and with a very long half-life is clearly an environmental major threat.

Are there any other scientists out there who want to add their opinions to this? We need more scientist to join in making there voices heard. It seems obvious that the responsible thing to do is, at the very least, immediately discontinue use of these dangerous chemicals until we know more about their affects.

To voice your concerns, contact:
EPA Administrator
Lisa P. Jackson
Ariel Rios Building, MC 1101A
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue N. W.
Washington, D. C. 20004

Headquarters Phone Number: 202-564-4700

General EPA Headquarters: 202-272-0167

email: jackson.lisa@epa.gov