Beekeepers and environmentalists Wednesday called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to remove a pesticide that could be linked to colony collapse disorder from the market and to issue an order to stop its use.
The request to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson from the American Beekeeping Federation, headed by Florida beekeeper Dave Mendes, and five other groups follows the leak of a Nov. 2 EPA memo about the product.
The insecticide sold under the brand name Poncho has an active ingredient called clothianidin. Bayer CropScience AG obtained conditional EPA registration for the product in 2003. The leaked memo identified a study that is the basis for the registration as unsound, said Florida beekeeper Dave Hackenberg, who was checking hives Wednesday in Fort Meade.
The study evaluated the wrong crop, using canola instead of corn, the major pollen-producing crop bees rely on for winter nutrition, beekeepers say.
“The EPA gave Bayer the OK to bring the stuff out as long as they got a core study,” Hackenberg said. “The scientists have been telling the EPA for several years this study is flawed.”