‘Farewell!’ Sang the stringent environmental protection laws

Long-term readers of this blog (hello mum etc.) may recall a whimsical science fantasy story I posted last December titled ‘Farewell!’ Sang the Swarm. It was a lightweight take on a very serious question that’s been puzzling many people around the world for some time: Colony Collapse Disorder. Whilst my take on CCD wasn’t too realistic (the alien hives observing our planet as part of a great experiment are withdrawing) I guessed it would probably be a bit more romantic than the reality.

Turns out I was right. Via weekly anarcho newsletter SchNEWS I’ve learned that teams of French and German scientists have come to the conclusion that a commercial pesticide known as Clothianidin is at least a partial cause of the loss of millions of bees colonies around the world. In further unsurprising news, it turns out that Clothianidin was developed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals and was passed for commercial sale in 2003 by the US Environmental Protection Agency despite the lack of safety research data. Presumably this assisted Bayer in selling Clothianidin (rebranded ‘Poncho’) to other markets around the world.

German regulators banned Clothianidin three months ago, the French (having banned an an earlier variant in 1999) declined its use, and in the US an environmental group has filed a lawsuit against the EPA. No doubt Bayer will continue to rake it in, and bee colonies will continue to vanish (albeit at a diminished rate).

(More in The Guardian and Coalition against BAYER-Dangers.)

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