Dow’s New Poison Threatens Bees

Dow’s New Poison Threatens Bees

Ecology Florida News Editorial

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

– attributed to Albert Einstein.

The EPA approved a powerful new poison from Dow Chemical this week. This sounds like a previous story, but it is not. In this case, the new poison is Dow’s Sulfoxaflor– another neonicotinoid pesticide.  We have previously drawn attention to dangerous chemicals produced by Dow,[1] and the approval of Sulfoxaflor appears to be one more instance of the EPA supporting the corporate interests of industrial chemical producers over and against the interests of the general public, organic farmers, natural systems and sectors, and (of course) bees.

Dow wins again and the bees (and the rest of us) lose again.  Well, not quite yet.  All is not lost, because a number of champions have stepped forward to challenge the EPA and Dow on behalf of the bees. These include the Pollinator Stewardship Council, the American Honey Producers Association, National Honey Bee Advisory Board, the American Beekeeping Federation, and three beekeepers (Bret Adee, Jeff Anderson, and Thomas R. Smith).  Good for them, and good for us.  Together and with representation by Earthjustice, these defenders of bees “have filed an appeal against the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.”[2]

As Earthjustice observes, “The appeal process through the courts is the only mechanism open to challenge EPA’s decision….”[2]  What we find so remarkable is that the EPA actually approved the chemical in the first place, especially since it is abundantly clear that neonicotinoids are a recognized culprit in the massive die-offs of honeybees – which are responsible for pollinating one-third of food crops, worldwide.[3] A recent study from Harvard University offers compelling evidence. According to its lead author, Chensheng Lu, “We demonstrated again in this study that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering CCD in honey bee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter.”[4]

For this reason, Ecology Florida believes the EPA should deny (or rescind approval of) Dow AgroScience’s application to expand the registration of sulfoxaflor, which is destined to cause further decimation of honeybee colonies.  We need bees much more than we need another poison from Dow Chemical.

For more information on the EPA’s approval of this new poison, the Earthjustice appeal and to lend your voice to the appeal, visit the Earthjustice website.

References and Resources

[1] “New Toxins and GMOs Headed Our Way,” Ecology Florida News

[2] “Protecting Bees From The Pesticide Sulfoxadflor,” Earthjustice

[3]“Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees?,” Xerces Society

[4] “Study strengthens link between neonicotinoids and collapse of honey bee colonies,” Harvard School of Public Health, May 9, 2014



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