Feds Not Serious About Bee Die-off
Feb 28, 2009 05:30PM
Solitary bee on red rose
One suspected culprit is a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, marketed since the 1990s. Banned by France, Italy, Germany and Slovenia, they are still used on 120 U.S. crops. Studies show that neonicotinoids impair bees’ navigational and foraging abilities.
Entomologist Kimberly Stoner, with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, notes that standards here differ from those in Europe, where countries operate under a policy of precautionary principle. “It says that when there is enough data to have a serious suspicion of harm, you can go ahead and act, without having to have absolute proof of harm,” says Stoner. “It puts the burden of proof more on people who market pesticides to show that the claim is unfounded. Here, you have to show proof of harm.”
Primary Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture and Palm Beach Post.