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US pesticide banned "on technicality"

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VEG 

Queen Bee
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A JUDGE in the US has pulled the
plug on a chemical insecticide after
protests from environmental groups
about its possible effects of honey
bees.
Spirotetramat, sold under various names
including Movento, was approved for use in
the US in 2008, but in December District
Court Judge Denise Cote ordered the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to
withdraw its approval for the chemical, which
inhibits cell reproduction in insects.
The ruling means the insecticide will be
illegal in the US from January 15, and has
been welcomed by several campaign groups
concerned about pesticide links to Colony
Collapse Disorder.
“This decision pulls a potentially dangerous
insecticide from the market so that it can be
evaluated. There are lower-risk alternatives
on the market,” said Aaron Colangelo, an
attorney for the New York-based Natural
Resources Defense Council, which sued the
EPA along with the Xerces Society, a wildlife
conservation group from Portland, Oregon.
Both Bayer CropScience and the EPA have
60 days to appeal the decision, but the EPA
said it was merely “reviewing the situation”.
Bayer was quick to point out, however,
that the decision was based on procedural
irregularites at the EPA, rather than on the
performance of the product itself, which
spokesman Jack Boyne said was “excellent”
in regard to bee safety. The chemical is
cleared for use in several nations, including
much of Europe, Australia and Canada.
Last week the company held urgent talks
with the British Beekeepersʼ Association to
discuss spirotetramat ahead of Bayerʼs
intended announcement this week of the
launch of products containing the chemical on
the UK market in May.
A BBKA spokesman said they were
satisfied that spirotetramat posed minimal risk
to bees.
Indeed, the toxicity of spirotetramat to
honey bees is said to be so low that products
containing the active substance will not be
required to carry any kind of labelling or
restrictions concerning honey bees.
“The court case had nothing to do with the
properties of the compound”, the spokseman
told BeeMail. “Basically the judge ruled that
there had been no public comment carried out
due to a procedural mistake by the US EPA in
carrying out the authorisation process.”
The EPA approved spirotetramat in 2008 for
use on hundreds of crops, including apples,
pears, peaches, oranges, tomatoes, grapes,
strawberries, almonds and spinach.
Judge Cote criticised the agency for not
properly publicising its review of the product
or seeking comments about its award of a
licence for use.
“The EPA utterly failed to comply with these
procedural requirements and has offered no
explanation whatsoever for these shortcomings,”
Cote wrote.
Mr Colangelo added: “The EPA admitted to
approving the pesticide illegally, but argued
that its violations of the law should have no
consequences.”

This was taken from bee mail
 

wojciech 

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Some technicality !!!!!

Report of The Natural Resource Defence Council which instituted the Court action:

"Beekeepers and scientists have expressed concern over Movento’s potential impact on beneficial insects such as honey bees. The pesticide impairs the insect’s ability to reproduce.. EPA’s review of Bayer’s scientific studies found that trace residues of Movento brought back to the hive by adult bees could cause “significant mortality” and “massive perturbation” to young honeybees (larvae).

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), bees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops grown in America. USDA also claims that one out of every three mouthfuls of food in the typical American diet has a connection to bee pollination. Yet bee colonies in the United States have seen significant declines in recent years due to a combination of stressors, almost certainly including insecticide exposure.

“This case underscores the need for us to re-examine how we evaluate the impact of pesticides and other chemicals in the environment,” said Colangelo. “In approving Movento, EPA identified but ignored potentially serious harms to bees and other pollinators. We are in the midst of a pollinator crisis, with more than a third of our colonies disappearing in recent years. Given how important these creatures are to our food supply, we simply cannot look past these sorts of problems.” "

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
----------------------------------------
NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL and
THE XERCES SOCIETY,
Plaintiffs,
-v-
UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
AGENCY,
Defendant,
BAYER CROPSCIENCE LP,
Defendant-
Intervenor.
----------------------------------------
09 Civ. 4317 (DLC)
OPINION & ORDER

"In the registration process, the EPA identified concerns
about the insecticide’s effect on bees. The EPA’s review of
tests exposing honeybees to spirotetramat found, inter alia,
“increased mortality in adults and pupae, massive perturbation
of brood development, early brood development, and decreased
larval abundance.” The EPA further found that insecticides that
inhibit lipid biosynthesis have “potential for chronic effects
on bee broods and development” and “may adversely affect bee
broods and development;” and in 2007 the EPA found there is
“uncertainty regarding the potential chronic effects of
spirotetramat on pollinators because no long-term data were
available.” By the time the EPA made its registration decision
in June 2008, it had reviewed additional studies on
spirotetramat’s chronic effect on bees, but it still found the
data lacking because the chronic effect studies tested
spirotetramat at levels lower than the label-recommended
application rate."

This extract from the judgement hardly appears to be a "technicality" to me. The above information was based on Bayers own research, faulty as it was. The technicality lay in that the EPA decided to provisionally approve Movento based on the Bayer studies, in spite of their concerns about safety to bees, without seeking more, independent research information.

If the BBKA can actually put a "technicality" gloss on this judgement, they are grossly outrewarding Bayer for the comparatively insignificant payement received from them.

Perhaps, rather than defending this payment to their sheep members, they ought to be going back to Bayer to claim a tenfold increase in the "payment" for using the BBKA logo on this new product when it is introduced to the UK.
 

katecanning 

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Thank you for posting this info. Am circulating it to as many people as i can vai email....
 

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