Bayer: Bee-Toxic Pesticide Killed German Bees, But Is Safe in America
BY Ariel Schwartz
As we have detailed in a number of stories, a pesticide (clothianidin) produced by Bayer may be responsible, at least in part, for the precipitous decline of the bee population in the last few years. The pesticide was approved on the basis of a study that the EPA knew to be faulty. There is little evidence supporting Bayer’s claim that clothianidin is safe (and a growing stack of evidence that it isn’t).
Bayer’s response to all the negative press surrounding clothianidin: go into spin mode. But the company’s recent blog post on clothianidin’s safety is itself full of holes.
Take this sentence, for example: “Bayer CropScience was recently made aware of an unauthorized release from within the Environmental Protection Association (EPA) of a document regarding the seed treatment product, clothianidin, which is sold in the United States corn market.” The document’s release was not “unauthorized”; it was available through the Freedom of Information Act. It was forwarded to Colorado beekeeper Tom Theobald by an EPA employee, who first made Theobald aware of it. But that’s almost beside the point.