The USDA’s top bee scientist talks pesticides and colony collapse at a D.C. luncheon

Jeff Pettis has been cast in the impossible role of defending the indefensible.

Two of the factors used to excuse away the effect of pesticides – monoculture and habitat destruction – are not a problem here in Boulder County. We still have an environment of mixed crops and ample wild areas along streams and ditch banks, that hasn’t changed in the past 30 years and yet we are still seeing the high mortalities that the USDA and EPA are trying so desperately to spin away from pesticides. What has changed is that GM crops and systemic pesticides have flooded our environment and made it toxic to bees and many other life forms, and when researchers like Pettis begin to get close to the truth they are throttled.

One of the messages that Pettis took to Parliament was that we can’t draw conclusions from laboratory studies. At the same time, Tom Moriarty, the leader of the EPA Bee Team, made the rediculous pronouncement that we can’t rely on field studies because it is too expensive and we would have to have control over a 10 mile radius. And yet junk science falling in those two categories is perfectly acceptable to get these chemcials on the market.

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