For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Information page on Honeybee Health and Colony Collapse Disorder.
The EPA has posted its response to the controversy over a leaked document regarding clothianidin, Bayer's widely used blockbuster pesticide that has come under suspicion as a primary cause of the mass honeybee die-off known as colony collapse disorder. (For a full telling of the long, checkered story of EPA's approval of clothianidin, see my story from two weeks ago.) Here's what the EPA has to say:
EPA recently received a letter from the National Honey Bee Advisory Board and other organizations requesting that the Agency remove clothianidin from the market. That letter and subsequent press coverage contain several erroneous statements. Reports that a clothianidin honeybee field study is a "core" study (that is, a study routinely required to support the registration of a pesticide) are not true. Further there is confusion about the review status of the study.
EPA scientists routinely reevaluate studies to determine whether the information submitted is valid and if it is relevant or useful to the regulatory matter in question (in this case a request for a new use). While this study was thought to be invalid as cited by the above groups, EPA reevaluation of the study determined that it contains information useful to EPA's risk assessment. This field study revealed the majority of hives monitored, including those exposed to clothianidin during the previous season, survived the over-wintering period.