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April 19, 2014
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Gillibrand asks for expedited pesticide review; the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder?


But the EPA did not say clothianidin has no impact on honey bees. It’s response to the petition says, “The data, literature and incident reports do make clear that clothianidin is acutely toxic to bees, and that adverse effects to foraging bees occasionally occurs with clothianidin use,” but it says there is not enough data to impose a ban.

There is also the question of whether clothianidin is actually the only cause of colony collapse disorder. There is a growing consensus among those studying the issue that CCD has multiple causes, and the pesticide may make hives substantially weaker, and when some virus or other agent invades, the bees don’t have the strength to fight it off.

On July 20, the EPA announced the decision not to immediately ban the substance, but they will accept public comment on the subject for 60 days at www.regulations.gov using the docket code EPA HQ-OPP-2012-0334.

After the announcement, Paul Towers, media director for Pesticide Action Network, one of the petitioners, said, “EPA has caved to corporate pressure and failed to follow the science. This is a reminder of the power and influence of pesticide corporations, despite significant impacts to the livelihood of beekeepers and rural economies.”

In her letter, Gillibrand wrote, “one in three bites of food is reliant on honey bee pollination.”