Monday, 14 July 2014

Environmentalists sue California for ‘rubber stamping’ use of honeybee-killing pesticides

Three environmental and food safety nonprofits are suing the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) over its approval of insecticides linked to the massive die-off of honeybees in the state, saying the agency violated state laws by doing so.

The Pesticide Action Network North America, the Center for Food Safety, and Beyond Pesticides joined together to file the suit in a California Superior Court. They point to current research blaming the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the disease killing off honeybees and threatening pollination of the world’s crops, on two popular insecticides.

The two products, clothianidin and imidacloprid, are both types of neonicotinoids. Another study found that bees exposed to "field-realistic" doses of neonicotinoid insecticides gather less than half the pollen that they normally do, dooming their young to starvation.

Neonicotinoids were developed in the 1990s to boost yields of staple crops such as corn, but they are also widely used on annual and perennial plants in lawns and gardens. Researchers believe the neonicotinoids are causing some kind of unknown biological mechanism in bees that in turn leads to CCD.

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