Poisened Bees Will Get Their Day In Court

Poisoned Bees Will Get Their Day In Court


Poisoned Bees Will Get Their Day In Court          

All around the world, bee colonies are dwindling thanks to a phenomenon  scientists call Colony  Collapse Disorder. After several studies linked the mysterious deaths to a  class of pesticides known as “neonicotinoids,” major nations took action by  suspending or banning their use. But  not the United States.

Appalled by the EPA’s apparent disinterest in protecting both the bees and  our food supply, four beekeepers and five environmental and consumer  groups filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court against the agency for its  failure to protect pollinators from dangerous pesticides. The bees, it seems,  will finally get their day in court, although it never really should have come  to this.

A year ago, the Center for Food Safety and a coalition including 25  prominent beekeepers filed  an Emergency Petition with the EPA asking the agency to suspend the use of  certain  neonicotinoids until they are proven safe to pollinators, the environment  and future food security. The agency indicated it will not finish its  Registration Review for these substances until 2018, the bureaucratic  equivalent of a shoulder shrug. But the bees and those who depend on them  (that’s you, by the way) wouldn’t be silenced that easily.

“America’s beekeepers cannot survive for long with the toxic  environment EPA has supported. Bee-toxic  pesticides in dozens of widely used products, on top of many other stresses  our industry faces, are killing our bees and threatening our livelihoods,” said  plaintiff Steve Ellis, a Minnesota and California beekeeper. “Our country  depends on bees for crop pollination and honey production.  It’s time for  EPA to recognize the value of bees to our food system and agricultural  economy.”

The coalition that filed the suit seeks suspension of the registrations  of insecticides that have repeatedly been identified as highly toxic to honey  bees, clear causes of major bee kills and significant contributors to the  devastating ongoing mortality of bees known as colony collapse disorder.   The suit challenges EPA’s ongoing handling of the pesticides as well as the  agency’s practice of “conditional registration” and labeling deficiencies.

The case also challenges the use of so-called “conditional registrations” for  these pesticides, which expedites commercialization by bypassing meaningful  premarket review.  Since 2000, over two-thirds of pesticide products,  including clothianidin and thiamethoxam, have been brought to market as  conditional registrations.

Independent scientists have assessed the effects of clothianidin and  thiamethoxam on honey bee colony health and development, examining both  sub-lethal exposure effects and acute risks. Scientists have also identified  massive data gaps that prevent accurate assessments as to their continued  safety, not just for honey bees but for ecosystem integrity on the whole.   A major new  report issued recently by the American Bird Conservancy sounds dire  warnings about EPA’s failures to assess threats to birds and to the aquatic  ecosystems many species depend upon.

“Beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups have demonstrated time  and time again over the last several years that EPA needs to protect bees.   The agency has refused, so we’ve been compelled to sue,” said Center for Food  Safety attorney, Peter T. Jenkins.  “EPA’s unlawful actions should convince  the Court to suspend the approvals for clothianidin and thiamethoxam products  until those violations are resolved.”

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/poisoned-bees-will-get-their-day-in-court.html#ixzz2OYb4FkJK

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