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Friday, February 19th, 2010 | Author:

What would Rachel Carson say to this story? The business publications are an echo-chamber of headlines reading “procedural issues” were what made spirotetramat illegal to sell, while other blogs and newspapers focus of the press release’s spin (harm to bees). The monopoly market publications would like to tell their readers/advertisers that it wasn’t banned because of proven harm to the pollinators and ecosystems (the same ecosystems that support the damned economy in the first place), no no… it was banned because the EPA and BayerCrop Science broke the laws, a.k.a. “procedures,” and got busted!  Why don’t they say “legal issues lead to ban of pesticide” or “secret law breaking discovered, leads to pesticide ban” or “NRDC and Xerces were watching while we tried to sell poison without EPA/public approval and they blew the whistle on behalf of science and public laws designed to protect the People from the Corporation”? (see evidence of eco-chamber) This story reveals the fraud and deceit that is Bayer CropScience and revolving door EPA cronies. It’s so easy to sell their poison and bio-warfare in China and Brazil, because those countries don’t have public oversight like the U.S.A. has with the EPA – Environmental Protection Agency. It’s time to review and renew our appreciation and understanding of our EPA. This story is really about the Xerces Society and National Resource Defense Council forcing the EPA to follow its own rules and public protection “procedures.” Had it not been for them, the EPA and Bayer CropScience would have simply violated the law in secrecy and ineptitude, exactly what Bare CrapScience wants to see happen, IMHO.Important to note that well-known commercial beekeepers Dave Hackenberg (and Dave Mendes?) worked with Bayer CropScience to field test the effects of spirotetramat on honeybees in Florida.  Click image for PDF of report.Hackenberg-Bayer CropScience spirotetramat Field TestHere’s a nice footnote from the Judge Cote’s ruling:

 It is undisputed that the plaintiffs have standing to bring this case.  See Connecticut v. Am. Elec. Power Co., 582 F.3d 309, 339 (2d Cir. 2009) (“An association has standing to bring suit on behalf of its members when: (a) its members would otherwise have standing to sue in their own right; (b) the interests it seeks to protect are germane to the organization’s purpose; and (c) neither the claim asserted nor the relief requested requires the participation ofthe lawsuit.” (citation omitted)).

Judge Pulls Pesticide After Finding Impacts on Bees Inadequately Evaluated by EPA(Beyond Pesticides, January 4, 2010) – A pesticide that could be dangerously toxic to America’s honey bees must be pulled from store shelves as a result of a suit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Xerces Society. In an order issued in December, a federal court in New York invalidated EPA’s approval of the pesticide spirotetramat (manufactured by Bayer CropScience under the trade names Movento and Ultor) and ordered the agency to reevaluate the chemical in compliance with the law. The court’s order goes into effect on January 15, 2010, and makes future sales of Movento illegal in the United States.“This sends EPA and Bayer back to the drawing board to reconsider the potential harm to bees caused by this new pesticide,” said NRDC Senior Attorney Aaron Colangelo. “EPA admitted to approving the pesticide illegally, but argued that its violations of the law should have no consequences. The Court disagreed and ordered the pesticide to be taken off the market until it has been properly evaluated. Bayer should not be permitted to run what amounts to an uncontrolled experiment on bees across the country without full consideration of the consequences.”In June 2008, EPA approved Movento for nationwide use on hundreds of different crops, including apples, pears, peaches, oranges, tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, almonds, and spinach. The approval process went forward without the advance notice and opportunity for public comment that is required by federal law and EPA’s own regulations. In addition, EPA failed to evaluate fully the potential damage to the nation’s already beleaguered bee populations or conduct the required analysis of the pesticide’s economic, environmental, and social costs.Beekeepers and scientists have expressed concern over Movento’s potential impact on beneficial insects such as honey bees. The pesticide impairs the insect’s ability to reproduce. EPA’s review of Bayer’s scientific studies found that trace residues of Movento brought back to the hive by adult bees could cause “significant mortality” and “massive perturbation” to young honeybees (larvae). According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), bees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops grown in America. USDA also claims that one out of every three mouthfuls of food in the typical American diet has a connection to bee pollination. Yet bee colonies in the United States have seen significant declines in recent years due to a combination of stressors, almost certainly including insecticide exposure. “This case underscores the need for us to re-examine how we evaluate the impact of pesticides and other chemicals in the environment,” said Mr. Colangelo. “In approving Movento, EPA identified but ignored potentially serious harms to bees and other pollinators. We are in the midst of a pollinator crisis, with more than a third of our colonies disappearing in recent years. Given how important these creatures are to our food supply, we simply cannot look past these sorts of problems.”View the court decision here.Read Beyond Pesticides’ read factsheet: Pollinators and Pesticides: Escalating crisis demands action and Backyard Beekeeping: Providing pollinator habitat one yard at a time. See more information on threats to honey bees at NRDC.