In response to the outcry over the EPA declining to ban clothiandin, one of the compounds most responsible for the bee deaths that have plagued U.S. farmers and gardeners for the last six years, the EPA has opened up a public comment period for 60 days. That means you have until OCT. 4 to LET THEM KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.
My friend Paul Tukey, over at SafeLawns.org, has written an excellent blog post on a few talking points to include in your demand. I have written my letter that includes many of Paul’s suggestions, and copied below, you are welcome to copy and paste to use in your own demand to the EPA.
To Whom It May Concern
I am deeply disappointed in the EPA’s decision not to ban clothiandin. Honey bees serve one of the most critical functions in the natural system that supports all life. What follows is not opinion, but fact. It is a fact that the decline of the honey bee population globally is a threat to our health, well being, economy and food supply. This is not a crisis for the distant future, it is a real and present threat. By not banning the use of a chemical, scientifically shown to be of immense harm to honey bee populations, you strike a critical blow to the future of the world’s food supply. Below are a couple more facts that support the banning of clothiandin.
1. The EPA’s own scientists originally assessed clothianidin as “highly toxic to honey bees” back in 2003.
2. The legal petition filed in March to ban clothianidin is supported by more than one million citizen-petitions, collected from people across the country, demanding the ban of clothianidin in particular – because of its lethal impact on honey bees.
3. Honey bees are responsible for pollinating at least a third of the nation’s food supply.
4. Thousands of bee farmers have already been bankrupted by the death of their bees in the last six years.
5. A substantial body of scientific evidence has confirmed that the use of clothianidin, an environmentally persistent poison, presents substantial risks to honey bees and other insects.
6. One of the American government’s lead bee scientists has confirmed that synthetic nicotines, of which clothianidin is a member, are harmful to bees even at microscopic doses which were originally presumed to be safe for bees.
7. Clothianidin was registered illegally, with inadequate paperwork. Yet the EPA granted a “conditional,” or temporary, registration to clothianidin in 2003, without obtaining a legally required field study, to prove that the pesticide would have no “unreasonable adverse effects” on bees and pollinators. Conditional registration was only granted on the condition that such an acceptable field study would be submitted later; but this crucial requirement was never met.
8. Beekeepers estimate the economic value of their operations at $50 billion, based on retail value of food and crops pollinated by bees. Bees pollinate many high-value crops, including: pumpkins, cherries, cranberries, almonds, apples, watermelons, and blueberries.
9. According to a recent United Nations report on the global decline of pollinator populations, “honeybees are the most economically important pollinators in the world.”
10. More than 4 million bee colonies have died in America since 2006 and the figure is close to 10 million bee colonies worldwide — overwhelmingly in countries where clothianidin and other neonicotinoid pesticides are widely used.
Please reconsider your stance, and ban clothiandin as soon as possible.
Laura Turner Seydel