If the Environmental Protection Agency moves to restrict neonicotinoid pesticides because of fears that they are causing bee deaths, it will happen in spite of the mounting evidence rather than because of it.
[UPDATE NOTE: This story was revised on 8 February to reflect release of new data on neonics and bee health presented at a New Orleans entomology conference.]
Last December, the European Commission banned the use of neonicotinoids, often called neonics, for two years. The moratorium, support for which was channeled by the precautionary politics that now dominate science-based regulation in Europe, took effect just as numerous new studies–including one released this past week–shed increasing doubt on the belief that neonics play a central role in bee health.
Now the focus is on Canada. Farmers in the United States are worried about a domino effect if regulatory officials there buckle under pressure from anti-pesticide campaigners to ‘do something,’ which could result in copycat moratoriums…..To Read More……