EPA Denies Emergency Petition to Suspend Clothianidin

Just out in the GMO Journal:

As far as the connection between clothianidin and the colony collapse disorder, the EPA, in a move that felt like a slap across the face to many beekeepers, said that it “is not aware of any data that demonstrate that exposure to clothanidin results in effects on honey bee colonies consistent with those associated with CCD.” The EPA’s analysis of studies found that some tests were performed in the lab and not in the field, where the EPA thinks concentration levels would be less than what the lab experiments provided. Furthermore, the EPA took issue with the studies being done on another neocotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, which is a predecessor to clothianidin.

Lastly, the EPA found that the incident report data submitted by petitioners was insufficient to point the finger at clothianidin as the cause of CCD. The agency explained away the German and Slovenian incidents as being related to “unusually” dry weather conditions and possible improper use of clothianidin and said that, despite the 9 years of its use, the role of this systemic pesticide has not been clearly established.

Astonishingly, the EPA said that “the information available on incidents does not indicate that clothianidin use is resulting in the loss of large numbers of honey bee colonies in the U.S. The available information instead seems to indicate that the seed treatment use pattern may result in some sporadic incidents affecting individual bees (in some cases, many bees), but there has not been widespread colony or population losses that would indicate the potential for serious harm.”

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