Germany and France Ban Pesticides Linked To Bee Deaths; Geneticist Urges U.S. Ban
In light of recent European bans of a pesticide linked to Bee Colony
Collapse Disorder (CCD), at least one key bee expert is calling for a ban of the same pesticide in the United States. "In the United States, drastic action is needed," says Canadian geneticist Joe Cummins, explaining that U.S. farmers and beekeepers shouldn't have to wait for more evidence or for an air-tight explanation for the complex syndrome, which threatens one in every third bite of food in the United States. Now most apiarists and scientists realize that pesticides are a factor in CCD, he says.
Cummins' remarks, in an interview with GreenRightNow, come less than a month after Germany's ban of clothianidin, a pesticide commonly used to keep insects off of corn crops. Germany banned the pesticide after heaps of dead bees were found near fields of corn coated in the pesticide, and in response to scientists who report that the insecticide severely impairs, and often kills, the honeybees that corn and other crops depend on for pollination.
The German government took the extraordinary action to protect bees and other essential pollinators, stating that there is now enough compelling evidence connecting the chemical to Bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in that country.
The ban also will likely fuel the European debate over genetically modified food, which involves treating crop seeds to resist harm from pesticide treatments. Critics of such modified foods say they are harming the environment, and have unknown human consequences, for little or no crop gain. Some scientists in Europe have called for their ban.