EPA Forced to Do Right Thing

Honey_Bee_on_Willow_Catkin_(5419305106)

The news every morning is full of things we could all care about a great deal. Oklahoma is set to execute a death sentence on an innocent man. Donald Trump is on his way to being the Republican nominee for President. The EPA has been ordered to rescind it’s approval of a popular pesticide that kills honeybees.

Let’s talk about bees and pesticides for a moment. To fill yourself in rapidly on the plight that the European Honeybee finds itself in, watch the documentary “More Than Honey”. You can find it here…if you rent it from YouTube its 3.99 and you won’t enjoy spending 3.99 any more than this. The honeybee is susceptible to the threats from modern poisons, and modern handling by for-profit beekeepers.

These vital insects are all carted to California every year to pollinate nut trees, mostly almonds. While they are there they are sprayed with herbicide, fungicide and come in contact with modern insecticide. In Europe suspect insecticides have been put on moratorium while the effects on bees are studied. Here in the US the story is different. Having approved these insecticides for use using studies conducted by manufacturers, the EPA has been sued by Beekeepers.

US beekeepers were less enthusiastic—a group of national beekeeping organizations, along with the National Honey Bee Advisory Board, quickly sued the EPA to withdraw its registration of sulfoxaflor, claiming that the EPA itself had found sulfoxaflor to be “highly toxic to honey bees, and other insect pollinators.”

Read the following paragraph twice.

And in the case of sulfoxaflor, the agency didn’t try very hard to get… information. In January 2013, because of major gaps in research on the new chemical’s effect on bees, the EPA decided to grant sulfoxaflor “conditional registration” and ordered Dow to provide more research. And then a few months later, the agency granted sulfoxaflor unconditional  registration—even though “the record reveals that Dow never completed the requested additional studies,” the court opinion states.

Granted conditional registration at first, with the condition being we need more industry-provided research, and then the approval finally given without any of the conditions being met. It’s as if the EPA in 2013 had forgotten what the “P” in its name stood for. This problem, of for-profit industry being considered first, is a problem with every arm of the Federal Government. This one pesticide is now un-registered, presumably until they have convinced the government, through industry financed ‘independent’ research that the pesticide is safe to beehives.

There are other competing brands of pesticide that are utilizing the same technology. None of them have been unregistered and declared unsafe. Just this one has. All of them are banned in Europe. Why is Europe so much better at protecting it’s people and environment than our own? Well, the conversation could now get political, and it will not.

The FDA suffers from the same issues as the EPA. It maintains its approval of BPA containing plastics to be used as food and water containers until every manufacturer has voluntarily withdrawn them, due to horrible public acceptance of them. The FDA approves a dietary supplement implicated in heart damage even after Canada bans it, until finally all of the pharmacies in the nation decide it’s too risky to sell it any more. Aspartame sweetener has been approved, banned, and re-approved and is likely to be re-banned, since soda makers have once again begun to move away from it now that the public will no longer eat it.

Your regulators react to your lead, America. Most times we can’t seem to get anything to change. No matter how many times you vote, or for who, things can’t get done in Congress. We can’t do anything about innocent people being executed in other states. We can’t make the EPA and FDA suddenly start putting the environment and safety first in their priority list. We can do something about the foods we eat, and because of this collective power, we can change the things the FDA and EPA can hurt us with.

We can protect honeybees if we quit eating processed food. Most of it has either corn or soy in it. The bulk of these new pesticides are used to increase the yield in corn and soy production by a minuscule amount. The effect of this on bees is around 30% of hives die every winter. If you quitting eating processed foods because of these pesticides (as one reason of many) it will lower the need for corn and soy. If you also quit eating industrially raised and processed meats (as one reason of many) that are fed corn and soy instead of grasses, then you will lower the demand for corn and soy so much that industry may well quit using these pesticides.

I guess what I am saying is–1. Quite eating processed foods and 2. Quit eating confinement raised and industrially slaughtered meats. The benefits to your health will be instantaneous, and the benefits to the bees will come YEARS before they would ever come by relying on the FDA or the Federal Courts to defend them from the profit motive.

About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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