Harvard Scientist Rebuts Industry Claims About Neonicotinoids

Neonicotinoids: A Disaster In The Making

Dutch Toxicologist, Dr. Henk Tennekes was the first to blow the whistle about the impact of neonicotinoids. In 2010, he urged the world to push for a ban on these chemicals by describing the apocalyptic horrors that await the world in his best-selling book, A Disaster In The Making.

Although there have been numerous studies published by world-renowned scientists such as Dr. Randolf Menzel, Dr. Francisco Sánchez-Bayo and Dr. Dave Goulson, proving the impact that neonicotinoids have on bees, Dr. Lu is the first scientist in the USA that has bravely spoken out against the use of neonicotinoids.

The study designed was aimed to replicate the so-called Colony Collapse Disorder

The Harvard Study: Part 1

Two years ago, Dr. Chensheng (Alex) Lu was interviewed on The Organic View Radio show in regards to his research about the impact of the neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, on honeybees. Please listen to the interview below.

Did EPA Protect Bayer’s Market Share?

Clothianidin has been widely used as a seed treatment on many of the USA’s key crops (which include canola, soy, sunflowers, wheat and sugar beet crops) for eight growing seasons under a conditional registration granted while EPA waited for Bayer Crop Science, the pesticide’s maker, to conduct a field study assessing the insecticide’s threat to bee colony health. The EPA moved from granting a conditional registration to full registration of the chemical just in time for the spring planting.

“Clothianidan was rushed to the market in 2003 with a conditional registration, not because imidacloprid was failing but because Bayer’s patent was about to expire. Clothianidin has never met the conditions, has never been legally registered and it appears we have suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to protect Bayer’s market share. The EPA was complicit in this,” stated Tom Theobald.

Clothianidin is agricultures Deep Water Horizon Tom Theobald

Neonicotinoid Truths: A Rotational Vortex

Regardless of how much independent, peer-reviewed research has been published, industry continues to dodge the bullet as every effort is made to shift the blame for the global honeybee population decline to everything from varroa mites,  Nosema ceranae, poor beekeeping husbandry, the weather, etc. Bumblebees, which also have been globally declining are not affected by varroa but are declining rapidly due to neonicotinoid exposure. This has been proven by scientists such as Dr. Randolf Menzel and Dr. Dave Goulson numerous times.

To date, in Australia, there is no record of varroa and yet honeybees suffer the same losses from neonicotinoids wherever beekeepers are exposed. To boot, the term “colony collapse disorder” is an industry coined term to convolute the truth.

Tom Theobald Colony Collapse Disorder is a symptom, not a syndrome

Neonicotinoids: Public Enemy #1

Although Dr. Lu is a highly respected scientist, he received a tremendous amount of backlash in the United States, especially from industry apologists and other venues that have industry ties. Interestingly enough, the European Commission adopted a proposal to restrict the use of three pesticides belonging to the neonicotinoid family (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) for a period of two years, effective December 1, 2013. Meanwhile, the EPA has done very little to protect pollinators.

It was no surprise to the beekeeping community and environmental advocates that there was no immediate action taken by EPA when over 475,000 honeybee colonies were devastated at the end of the California almond pollination season. The fact that very little attention was given to this historic tragedy does say a great deal.

It is also interesting that this particular study has been given so much attention. Some of our listeners would agree that this attention is long overdue. The wide-spread toxic poisoning caused by the use of neonicotinoids, whether it be administered via seed treatment or as a foliar application is everyone’s problem, especially since it has been scientifically proven that the sub-lethal effects are disastrous. Dr. Henk Tennekes further supported his previous research about the deadly effect of neonicotinoid exposure when he proved the lethal effects of dose-time toxicity on bees.

The Infamous Leaked EPA Memo

With the new Harvard Study, Dr. Lu continues to move forward, exploring the impact of yet another controversial neonicotinoid, clothianidin.

“In our previous study we used imidacloprid, which is the most commonly used insecticide in the whole world. But this year, in this current study, we added another, very commonly used neonicotinoid called clothianidin. We wanted to see whether we could replicate the symptoms of honeybee colony collapse not just with imidacloprid but with clothianidan,” Dr. Alex Lu.

If a bee takes back some pollen that is contaminated with neonicotinoids, the pollen is fed to the pupae Dr Lu

For those of you that have been following The Organic View, back in February of 2011, Tom Theobald was my guest to discuss the “Infamous Leaked EPA Memo.” This interview blew the whistle on the negligence of the EPA as it clearly avoided all responsibility for environmental protection and proper registration of dangerous chemicals. To listen to the interview, please press the play button below.

Response To Dr. Lu’s Study On Neonicotinoids and Honeybees

Bayer Crop Science issued the following statement regarding this new study.

“Feeding honey bees levels of neonicotinoids greater than 10 times what they would normally encounter is more than unrealistic – it is deceptive and represents a disservice to genuine scientific investigation related to honey bee health.”

Dr. Lu responded, “if you weighed a grain of salt, the salt that we commonly use in cooking. A grain of salt weighs about 64,800 ng and we used 0.7 ng, so that is a very very small amount. So you couldn’t even use a balance to weigh this amount of neonicotinoids out.”

The question I have for Bayer is they never publish what is so-called environmentally relevant neonicotinoid concentration that bees could encounter Dr Alex Lu

“The question I have for Bayer is they never publish what is so-called environmentally relevant neonicotinoid concentration that bees could encounter. So, in this case, 10 times higher in their statement is relatively modest. They can say the Harvard Study dose is 100 times higher than so-called environmental relevant concentration but in reality, there is no such thing about environmental relevant concentration. It depends upon where you sample. It depends upon when you sample. It has to be a wide range of concentration that the bee could encounter in the environment. So, I think that statement itself is deceptive, not the scientific finding,” said Dr. Lu.

Listen To The New Harvard Study Part 2 Interview

As we continue our special series called “The Neonicotinoid View” which was created to explore the impact of systemic pesticides, host June Stoyer and special guest co-host, Tom Theobald talk to Dr. Alex Lu, Associate Professor of Environmental Exposure Biology at Harvard about his latest research on honeybees and neonicotinoids titled: Sub-lethal Exposure To Neonicotinoids Impaired Honeybees Winterization Before Proceeding To Colony Collapse Disorder. To listen to the interview, please click the play button on the video below.

13 thoughts on “Harvard Scientist Rebuts Industry Claims About Neonicotinoids

  1. The subject of “Colony Collapse Disorder” or excuse me, “Colony Collapse” has been a hot topic for many “charities” now only because it seems to be a way for them to make more money from bee deaths. It is interesting that none of the other pollinator groups have campaigned as hard as they should to help ban these chemicals.

    The interview with June and Tom about clothianidin from a few years back was spot on. It is preposterous that nothing has changed, regardless of how many interviews have been done that focus on the devastation caused by neonicotinoids.

  2. It is sad that this is Memorial Day weekend and we have only ONE American scientist that has the guts to stand up to Bayer. What the hell is wrong with this picture? Does industry own everything?

  3. I should have gone to some internet law school and worked for Bayer. They pay their lawyers a lot of money to sound so stupid. This is a defense?

    “Feeding honey bees levels of neonicotinoids greater than 10 times what they would normally encounter is more than unrealistic – it is deceptive and represents a disservice to genuine scientific investigation related to honey bee health.”

    Their chemicals kill and they act so innocent. Bayer is well-known for manufacturing poison. This is what Bayer is known for. Look at all of the Jews they killed during the Holocaust. Now they are broadening their range to kill every living being on the face of the earth. No one is going to survive. Not even their smug lawyers. May God have mercy on their soul.

    What I find deceptive is the fact that they are above the rules and do what they please. This is just wrong!

  4. Neonicotinoids kill insects. Why is this such a hard concept for people to grab? Is our society that stupid?

    • Neonicotinoids kill insects, birds and other animals eat insects such as owls, frogs, bears, monkeys, mice, rats, wild hamsters, bats, lizards, spiders, snakes, fish, and some humans. It goes right up the food chain. Do neonicotinoids accumulate in the body? What do they do to the gut and why do we hear of leaky gut syndrome now? I understand that with ingeston of GMOs insects guts implode. ” Why are we hearing a mass immune and allergic related disorders now? Since 1997, Monsanto has filed 145 lawsuits against farmers for reusing its patented genetically modified seeds.

  5. The bees are dying from neonicotinoids. So, what else is new? Anyone who has been keeping up with the interviews knows this. However, what remains to be seen is will the EPA do something? Will they do anything? I doubt it.

  6. It was interesting to see how nothing has changed in the last few years since the first interview.

  7. I was surprised to see that someone from Harvard was standing up for the bees. I guess they are the only school NOT taking money from Bayer.

    • We all owe Dr. Lu a great debt of gratitude for speaking out to share his work regarding the destruction of our important pollinators connection to neonicotinoid pesticides.

  8. It is a shame that we have to argue and fight for the right to have a healthy environment and safety from toxins. Rather than continuing to spread the neonicotinoids while greater numbers of immune response and other allergic illnesses amass and our pollinators are dying, simply stop the use of neonicotinoids. Are all the risks worth a 4% addtional crops and the loss of our bee keepers and the legal assaults on our farmers – no.

  9. It is unbelievable that this has been going on for so long. Never knew that clothianidin slipped through. Makes you wonder what else EPA let go through in other areas.

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