“Since 2006, U.S. honey bee populations have been in precipitous decline, with some estimates suggesting losses as high as 30% per year.1 While that’s terrible, the problem is far greater than just the destruction of a species. Without bees, a big piece of our food supply is in serious danger. Pollination by honey bees is key in cultivating the crops that produce a full one-third of our food.
Scientists have been scrambling to understand the crisis — termed Colony Collapse Disorder — but have yet to find a single, definitive cause. There are likely multiple interacting causes, and mounting evidence suggests that one widely used class of pesticides may be a critical factor.
One such chemical, called clothianidin, is produced by the German corporation Bayer CropScience. It is used as a treatment on crop seeds, including corn and canola, and works by expressing itself in the plants’ pollen and nectar. Not coincidentally, these are some of honey bees’ favorite sources of food.
Clothianidin was approved by the EPA in 2010 – but now the EPA is reviewing this approval. The deadline to submit a comment is Tuesday and we need to urge federal administrators to cancel the approval of this dangerous chemical.
Tell the EPA: Revoke approval of the pesticide that’s wiping out honey bees. Submit a comment before the deadline on Tuesday.
Shockingly, no major independent study has verified the safety of this pesticide. While clothianidin has been used on corn — the largest crop in the U.S. — since 2003, it was officially approved by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 on the basis of a single study, conducted by Bayer. However, recently leaked documents show that the study was actually debunked by the agency’s own scientists, so the pesticide was effectively approved with no scientific backing.2…”