Sunday, 31 August 2008
Einstein said that if the honeybee became extinct, then so would mankind.
But Colony Collapse Disorder has caused devastation to bee colonies, so it is more than relevant that the German organization ‘Coalition against Bayer Dangers’ have brought legal action against Werner Wenning, chairman of the Bayer AG Board of Management, by filing a charge against him accusing Bayer Crop Science of "marketing dangerous pesticides and thereby accepting the mass death of bees all over the world."
Since 1991, Bayer has been producing the insecticide imidacloprid, which is one of the best selling insecticides in the world, often used as seed-dressing for maize, sunflower, and rape. Exported to more than 120 countries and the substance is Bayer's best-selling pesticide. Since patent protection for it expired in most countries, in 2003 Bayer brought a similarly functioning successor product, clothianidin onto the market. Both substances are systemic chemicals that work their way from the seed through the plant. The substances get into the pollen and the nectar and can damage beneficial insects such as bees. The coalition alleges that the start of their sales coincided with the occurrence of large scale bee deaths in many European and American countries. Up to 70 percent of all hives have been affected. In France, approximately 90 billion bees died over the past 10 years, reducing honey production by up to 60 percent.
The Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency said “Clothianidin may pose a risk to honey bees and other pollinators, if exposure occurs via pollen and nectar of crop plants grown from treated seeds," said the Canadian agency.
Germany banned neonicotinoids for seed treatment in May 2008, due to negative effects on bee colonies. Beekeepers in the Baden-Württemberg region suffered a severe decline linked to the use of clothianidin.
In the United States, the non profit ‘Natural Resources Defence Council’ filed a lawsuit in the Washington Federal Court to force the federal government to disclose studies it ordered on the effect of clothianidin on honey bees. NRDC attorneys believe that the EPA has evidence of connections between pesticides and the mysterious honey bee die-offs reported across the country called Colony Collapse Disorder that it has not made public.
God’s created environment is a fragile thing; we mess around with it at our own risk.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 12:22