EPA Accused Of Hiding Bee Toxicity Data | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 34 | p. 26 | Concentrates
Issue Date: August 25, 2008

EPA Accused Of Hiding Bee Toxicity Data

Department: Government & Policy

Convinced that EPA has evidence that links a new class of pesticides to massive honey bee die-offs, the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit on Aug. 18 to get the agency to hand over its records. The suit comes after EPA failed to respond to NRDC's Freedom of Information Act request seeking toxicity data on clothianidin, which was recently banned in Germany because of concerns about its effects on bees. NRDC contends that EPA has information submitted by the pesticide's manufacturer, Bayer CropScience, about the product's toxicity to bees. "EPA should be evaluating the risks to bees before approving new pesticides, but now refuses to tell the public what it knows," NRDC senior attorney Aaron Colangelo said. Clothianidin belongs to a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids and is used to coat corn and canola seeds. According to an EPA fact sheet, "clothianidin has the potential for toxic chronic exposure to honey bees, as well as other nontarget pollinators, through the translocation of clothianidin residues in nectar and pollen." Bayer CropScience maintains that the pesticide is safe to bees when properly applied to seeds.

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