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.

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  1. 1

    For the record …
    Publication date: 7/7/2008
    Insecticide Movento® approved in United States and Canada

    The new insecticidal active ingredient spirotetramat from Bayer CropScience has been granted regulatory approval in the strategically important markets in the United States and Canada. Spirotetramat will be marketed worldwide under the brand name Movento®. “Bayer CropScience is the international Number 1 in insecticides,” commented Dr. Rüdiger Scheitza, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience AG and Head of Global Portfolio Management. “We are confident of being able to expand our global leadership position in this market segment with Movento®. In the medium term we expect spirotetramat to have an annual sales potential of around EUR 200 million,” is how Dr. Scheitza described the economic importance of the new active ingredient for the company. The Launch of the new insecticide in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Africa, the Netherlands and Austria is planned for 2008 and 2009. It is the intention to market Movento® in over 70 countries.

    The active ingredient in Movento® has a unique feature. According to Emmanuel Salmon, Insecticides Product Manager at Bayer CropScience, “Spirotetramat is the only modern insecticide with systemic two-way efficacy.” The substance moves up and down through the entire plant system; this two-way transport also delivers the substance to the leaves and bark, enabling Movento® to control insects in the inner leaves of lettuce and cabbage, for example, and in the bark of fruit trees. This exceptional systemic performance protects new shoots, leaves and roots, preventing insect eggs and larvae from growing. A further important advantage for farmers is the product’s long-lasting action: spirotetramat protects crops against insect attack for up to eight weeks.

    Spirotetramat belongs to the chemical class of ketoenols invented by Bayer, and offers extremely effective control of a broad spectrum of sucking insects such as aphids, thrips, psyllids, mealy bugs, whiteflies and scales. Spirotetramat can be used in a large number of major crops: cotton, soya, citrus fruit, tropical fruit, pome and stone fruit, nuts, grapes, hops, potatoes and vegetables.

    While Movento® exhibits a comprehensive spectrum of activity against sucking pests, it has proven selective for important beneficial insects such as ladybugs, hover flies and parasitoid wasps. “We recommend farmers to use our new insecticide as part of integrated crop protection programs and as a component of successful resistance management programs,” Emmanuel Salmon commented.

    Bayer CropScience has carefully taken measures to establish national maximum residue levels (MRLs) and globally valid import tolerances to comply with international food standards (Codex Alimentarius) for the major export products at an early stage. These standards are achieved in part through international collaboration between regulatory authorities in Europe and North America, and the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 5.8 billion (2007), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of about 17,800 and is represented in more than 120 countries.

    Dr. Hermann-Josef Baaken, Tel.: +49 2173 38-5598

  2. 2

    Potential Bee Risk ‘Stings’ Insecticide in Court
    Federal court allows ban on Spirotetramat; Halts sales.
    Compiled by staff
    Published: Mar 18, 2010

    A federal appeals court refused to delay a ban on the sale of a pesticide that some environmental groups claim is killing honeybees. In effect, the court order prevents Bayer Cropscience from selling its Spirotetramat insecticide formulations (Movento and Ultor) while the company appeals a lower court ruling that halted sales.

    “Bayer has demonstrated neither that it will suffer irreparable injury absent a stay, nor that it has a substantial possibility of success on the merits of its appeal,” U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood and U.S. Circuit Judge Joseph McLaughlin said in the ruling. The ruling could force a recall of already marketed Spirotetramat active ingredient products.

    Movento, a translocated product, targets many sucking pests in grapes, citrus, vegetables, tree fruits, tree nuts, Christmas trees and hops. Ultor, a similar product, has been labeled for pomes and Christmas trees.

    … The company laments the fact that the chemical was banned because of procedural faults, but did not indicate how it would proceed.

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