Remember the Bees: Keep up the Fight to Ban NeoNic’s

From the Organic Consumers Association and Sierra Club, Edited by Robin Seydel

Here in New Mexico February is the beginning of the growing season. Not only to we prune our fruit trees and other fruit-baring bushes, but we also get all our cold season crops either in the ground or if we are lucky coming up big time under cold frames and row covers. So it seems important at this time to also remember the bees, who provide so much of what we eat with their pollination services.

Sierra Club and the Organic Consumers Association are urging us to demand the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protect honey bees and the food supply over the bottom line of multinational corporations.

In light of the mounting evidence that the nicotinyl insecticides (also known as neonicotinoids) are deadly to bees, these groups recently reaffirmed their call for a U.S. moratorium on these powerful pesticides to protect our bees and crops, especially until more studies can be done.

The EPA is charged with properly implementing the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for legal authorization to allow various agricultural chemical applications. Yet more than one hundred and sixty Section 18 FIFRA emergency exemptions have been approved by EPA’s OPP since 1997 without evaluating their sub-lethal effects.

GMO Neo-Nic Coated Corn: Bee Death Goes to the Next Level

“Part of the equation in the U.S. is genetically engineered corn, as more and more corn seeds are being gene spliced with a completely different species – a bacterium,” said Walter Haefeker, of the German Beekeepers Association Board of Directors. “Bayer and Monsanto recently entered into agreements to manufacture neonicotinic-coated genetically engineered corn. It’s likely that this will worsen the bee die-off problem.”

EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) must take urgent action to suspend use of the high volume pesticides known as the nicotinyl insecticides until the EPA possesses the scientific evidence to demonstrate that these pesticides do not cause or contribute to sublethal effects on the nation’s honey bees. Serious questions need to be raised by EPA’s OPP over the sublethal effects to honey bees occurring in the low parts per billion range (ppb) of 1.0 ppb to 20 ppb from these pesticides, which apparently the EPA has not evaluated to date, and the pesticide manufacturer’s may not have adequately investigated or may have submitted incomplete findings to EPA.

Synergistic effects may also be occurring. The EPA has clearly missed the unintended consequences of the nicotinyl (neonicotinoid) insecticides, including imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and several others and now action is critical.

Tell the EPA that we expect them to do their job. Call for a precautionary moratorium on these powerful crop treatments on our crops an our food in the next round of GMO Neo-Nic treated corn seed.  Request that the EPA suspend the use of nicotinyl insecticides until scientific evidence that sublethal effects do not cause harm to America’s honey bees is obtained. The loss of honeybees will leave a huge void in the kitchens of the American people and an estimated loss of 14 billion dollars to farmers.

Write to: Registration Division Director

Office of Pesticide Programs

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Ariel Rios Building

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Mail code 7505P Washington, D.C. 20460