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Yesterday, The EPA astounded the beekeeping community by announcing that it would not respond to a legal petition filed this past March calling for, among other things, the suspension of the neonicotinoid, Clothianidin. The response was received in a letter dated, July 17, 2012 and was addressed to Peter T. Jenkins, Center for Food Safety and International Center for Technology Assessment. To review the full document, please click here: Clothianidin Emergency Citizen Petition.
Are The Beekeepers Being Ignored?
The beekeeping community is outraged and perplexed as to how they can invoke change, especially if their legal demands for reform are completely ignored. According to the Apiary Inspectors of America, the unsustainable honeybee losses in the USA have reached 30-33 percent. However, according to the working beekeeping community, annual losses are well over 50 percent, with many operations experiencing up to 100 percent turnover.
The EPA’s Response:
After contacting the press office for the EPA, the following statement was received this morning:
“EPA has denied a request to suspend use of the pesticide clothianidin. Current data and evidence, including that provided by the petitioners, does not indicate that this pesticide poses an imminent hazard under the law. The agency remains concerned about potential effects of pesticides on pollinators and is engaged in national and international efforts to address this issue. EPA scientists have been working closely with researchers in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, other federal and state agencies, industry and academia and with beekeepers both in the United States and abroad to understand the factors associated with losses due to colony collapse disorder and other impacts on pollinator health.
EPA is continuing its comprehensive scientific evaluation on all the neonicotinoid pesticides, including clothianidin. This extensive review will determine if any restrictions are necessary to protect people, the environment or pollinators. Also, in September, EPA will seek independent scientific peer review on how to better assess the risks of pesticides to pollinators. This effort will improve our understanding of the issues and strengthen the scientific and regulatory process to protect honey bees and other pollinators.”
In this special series called The Neonicotinoid View, host, June Stoyer, will be joined by special guest host, Tom Theobald to discuss this decision with Steve Ellis, secretary of the National Honeybee Advisory Board (NHAB). He has been involved in pesticide issues for the past 15 years and has been a beekeeper for 32 years. Mr. Ellis has 2300 colonies which he operates for honey production and pollination for crops in California. Mr. Ellis is 1978 graduate of the University of Washington and resides in Barrett, MN. To hear the interview, click here.