Wikileaks says government responsible for bee kills

While the WikiLeaks media frenzy may have been focused on the release of tens of thousands of classified military and U.S. State Department documents, it’s a leaked Environmental Protection Agency document that has conservationists, environmentalists and beekeepers abuzz.

The November 2nd memo, leaked to a Colorado beekeeper, indicates that the EPA was well-aware that the pesticide Clothianidin posed some serious risks to honey bees. There have been concerns about this chemical from as far back as 2003, and it’s already been banned in Germany, France, Italy and Slovenia because of its toxicity. But the EPA chose to sweep all that under the rug to keep the pesticide on the market.

Clothianidin, marketed as “Poncho” by Bayer, is widely used on corn, as well as canola, soy, sugar beets, sunflowers and wheat. As if the $262 million cash crop from last year wasn’t enough, Bayer wants to keep expanding the pesticide’s use. And the company’s original registration was based on some seriously flawed science: they evaluated the wrong crop, with the wrong controls to assess the impact on bees.

This all adds up to some serious questions about the government contributing to Colony Collapse Disorder as they knowingly allowed Bayer to poison bees. And this is about a lot more than honey production … native habitats, and as much as one-third of America’s food supply, rely on the pollination provided by bees.

In light of the leaked memo, the National Honey Bee Advisory Board, American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association, Beyond Pesticides, Pesticide Action Network North America, and Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter to the EPA requesting that the agency “take urgent action to stop the use of this toxic chemical.”

The letter goes on to point out that this new information indicates an overuse of the Office of Pesticide Program’s conditional registration program. This bee boondoggle “represents a failure that could and should have been avoided.” As a result, the coalition is calling for an immediate moratorium on these types of registration until the program is evaluated.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about Colony Collapse Disorder and the massive bee die-offs it’s been causing. One thing we do know is that bees are in trouble, and that’s not good news for all the animals (and humans) who rely on the plants these important insects sustain.

Join the call for the EPA to stop the sale of Poncho and conduct a thorough study into the pesticide’s impact on wildlife.

Tip of the hat to David Williams for the FB link

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Posted by on January 7, 2011. Filed under Environment,News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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20 Responses to Wikileaks says government responsible for bee kills

  1. greenlight

    January 7, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Now THIS appears to be a less harmful/more beneficial use of the “Wikileaks” model. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jackie Brinks

      January 7, 2011 at 11:36 am

      How is Wikileaks harmful?

      • A Michael J. Scott

        January 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm

        The outing of undercover agents, both foreign and domestic, working to gather intelligence designed to benefit the United States and its allies is irresponsible. Disclosing their missions and identities could well result in their deaths and the deaths of their families. This is the only problem I have with WikiLeaks, that and disclosing specific plans designed to kill the enemy of course. Everything else is very valuable indeed.

        • Jackie Brinks

          January 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm

          You sound like a politician, name one person that has been harmed?

          • A Michael J. Scott

            January 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm

            Did I say anyone was harmed? As I read my own comment I believe I said “could well result.” Don’t put words in my mouth.

            • Jackie Brinks

              January 7, 2011 at 5:26 pm

              I’ll answer my own question if you won’t ‘No one was harmed’

              • A Michael J. Scott

                January 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm

                How do you know?

                • ClintJCL

                  January 8, 2011 at 6:22 pm

                  Because Robert Gates of the Pentagon said so. Go google it.

  2. liberality

    January 7, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Embarrassing the banks, the U.S., and multinational corporations out to control the entire world: wikileaks is vital and necessary if we want to live in a free world!!! Thanks for this article. Why am I not surprised?

  3. One Fly

    January 7, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I think there is a very good possibility this is true.

    Thanks as well!

  4. Krell

    January 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Now did I read that right on the by-line??….”Iā€™m starting to like Wikileaks.” It’s not the Vicodin talking, is it?

    • A Michael J. Scott

      January 7, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      LOL…No. Not the vicodin. I don’t agree with everything they do, but much of it is valuable information that we need to know.

      • greenlight

        January 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm

        If not the vicodin, maybe the Johnny? šŸ™‚

  5. Red Sky1814

    January 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I’m new here but I think I understand what Mr. Scott was saying. He doesn’t like everything Wiki does. I don’t like everything Wiki does. I don’t like everything my wife does, or my son for that matter, but it doesn’t mean I don’t respect what they say. I’ve looked a the threads here and I can tell you that I think Scott has come a long way with respect to W.Leaks. So have I for that matter. Great stuff over here.

    • greenlight

      January 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm

      Well said, Red Sky 1814–and welcome to the site! The fact is that some confidential information, if made public, could indeed put people in harm’s way–while other information might be beneficially brought to light. I’m not sure that I like the idea of a website staff holding the power to decide what goes public and what doesn’t, but it’s nice to see something of interest and import coming from Wikileaks that is, at least on its face, less potentially harmful than the stories that have brought the site into the headlines.

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