May 02, 2013

Neonicotinoids off hook on bee collapse, USDA and EPA say

An official report, with "more study is needed" and "multiple causes," officially lets neonicotinoid pesticides off the hook.

Indeed, on the issue of pesticides, it said pyrethroids may be more to blame.
Pesticide exposure to pollinators continues to be an area of research and concern, particularly the systemic pesticides such as neonicotinoids. Despite concerns regarding the potential hazard that systemic pesticides may represent to honey bee colonies, when pesticides are viewed in the aggregate at the national level, the frequency and quantity of residues of pyrethroids coupled with the toxicity of these insecticides to bees could pose a 3-fold greater hazard to the colony than the systemic neonicotinoids.
Now, it's true that the EU vote, after recommendation from the European Food Safety Authority, was a bare majority. And, it's also true that the USDA/EPA report doesn't give absolution to neonicotinoids. That said, the details of its "more study is needed" portion of the report seem to indicate it doesn't expect any major new findings will change its mind soon.

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