Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Stinging scandal for EPA

In recent years, there have been many suggestions that the Environmental Protection Agency is a CRA: a captive regulatory agency that does the bidding of the industries that its mission calls upon it to oversee. Today, not for the first time, we must wonder to what extent the EPA is running interference for the chemical industry, as the bees on which American agriculture so heavily relies for cross-pollination die in ever greater numbers, apparent victims of Bayer Corporation’s insecticide clothianidin, a neonicotinoid that attacks arthropods’ central nervous systems.

Apiarist Tom Theobald stands among crates of his bees

Apiarist Tom Theobald stands among crates of his bees.
[ Image Source ]

The EPA has been aware of this problem since at least 2006, when Bayer published a life-cycle study that — despite its flaws of methodology — demonstrated the peril posed to bees (as well as birds and other species) by the insecticide. Meanwhile, clothianidin was banned in Germany, France, Italy and Slovenia for exactly this reason. But in the U.S., thanks to the EPA’s inaction, clothianidin continues to be applied to farmers’ produce, and bees continue to die.

Perhaps it’s time for someone at Bayer or the EPA who cares more about America’s food supply than about Bayer’s bottom line to get in touch with WikiLeaks.

Originally published as a review of a fastcompany.com article on an interview with beekeeper Tom Theobald

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