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EPA Unveils New Pesticide Label to Protect Bees

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our Honey Bee Health page.

The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled Thursday a new pesticide label that prohibits the use of some pesticide products where bees are present, a step to help with the sharp decline in recent years of the insect vital to pollinating crops and producing honey.

The agency said Thursday the new labels will have a bee advisory box and icon with information prohibiting the use of certain pesticides when bees are present, ways that bees can be exposed and steps that can be taken to minimize contact of the chemical with the insect. EPA, which said it would work with pesticide manufacturers to change labels, noted that products containing the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam would be impacted.

Neonics have been blamed for contributing to the bee collapse, leading countries in Europe to reduce the use of the pesticides and prompting a federal lawsuit in the United States asking the EPA to restrict their use.

"The Environmental Protection Agency is taking action to protect bees from pesticide exposure and these label changes will further our efforts," said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

In May, the EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture found a series of factors are responsible for the decline in honey bees, including loss of habitat, parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure.

Paul Towers, a spokesman with the Pesticide Action Network, said the EPA announcement fails to go far enough to protect bees.  


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