France Bans Pesticide Linked to Bee Declines

A statement of Heather Pilatic, PhD, Communications Director for Pesticide Action Network and author of the recent report Pesticides and Honey Bees: State of the Science, on France’s announcement to ban Cruiser OSR (a.i. thiamethoxam):

“Beekeepers across the United States have reported dramatic declines in bee populations over the past six years. And scientists have been steadily unraveling the implications for pollinators of our nearly pervasive use of ‘systemic’ and other pesticides in corn and other crops. Pesticides are a clear, key driver behind bee die-offs.

PAN joined partners and beekeepers in calling for action on one specific neonicotinoid pesticide — clothianidin — in March, citing continued and unsustainable bee losses, mounting research linking these losses to pesticide exposure, and a leaked EPA memo which revealed that clothianidin was on the market based on one faulty field study. Clothianidin and thiamethoxam are close chemical cousins: clothianidin is a primary metabolite of thiamethoxam.

 French officials have followed the science and moved swiftly, meanwhile EPA doesn’t expect to make a decision until 2018. Given the science, Administrator Jackson should take decisive action to protect pollinators from thiamethoxam and other neonicotinoids.”