Blog: Mother Earth Heals
by Liora Leah

Pesticides=Bee Die-Off

Pesticide Action Network North America reports that pesticide use may be responsible for the massive bee die-offs occuring in Europe and the United States. The company Bayer CropScience manufactures two pesticides cited as responsible for the bee deaths.

The company's plant in the United States had an explosion on August 28, releasing a massive fireball into the air; at this same site, Bayer manufactures and stockpiles the same chemical responsible for the deaths of thousands in Bhopal India in 1984.

Date:   9/6/2008 5:33:44 PM   ( 14 y ) ... viewed 2946 times

Pesticide Action Network PAN Updates

September 04, 2008


German NGO sues Bayer over bee deaths


On August 26, the German-based Coalition against Bayer Dangers (CBD) filed court papers accusing Bayer AG with "marketing dangerous pesticides and thereby accepting the mass death of bees all over the world." The lawsuit was co-filed with German beekeepers who claim Bayer's clothianidin pesticide was responsible for mass die-offs. Bayer's application for approval of clothianidin was rejected by France (which also banned Bayer's imidacloprid) after the death of 90 billion bees over the past decade destroyed 60% of French honey production. Environmental News Service reports "the coalition alleges that the start of sales of imidacloprid and clothianidin coincided with the occurrence of large-scale bee deaths in many European and American countries." CBD lawyer Harro Schultze suspects Bayer "submitted flawed studies to play down the risks." Imidacloprid and clothianidin, two neonicotinoid pesticides, have been among Bayer's most profitable products. Meanwhile, the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (CPMRA) has challenged Bayer's clothianidin application charging that the field studies were found to be "deficient in design and conduct." The CPMRA concluded that "clothianidin may pose a risk to honey bees" and "is very persistent in soil, with high carry-over of residues to the next growing season. Clothianidin is also mobile in soil." On August 15, the Natural Resources Defense Council sued to force the EPA to disclose the studies Bayer submitted to gain approval of chlothianidin in the U.S. According to ENS, "NRDC attorneys believe that the EPA has evidence of connections between pesticides and the mysterious honey bee die-offs… that it has not made public."

shareMORE - PANNA's profile of Bayer's blemished past | DiggDiggThis

Explosion rocks Bayer's West Virginia plant

On August 28, an explosion at the Bayer chemical plant in Institute, West Virginia, created a fireball that lit the sky and shook the ground miles away. One worker was killed and another suffered third-degree burns. The blast erupted in a 4,000-gallon tank in the part of the plant that produces mythomyl, a chemical used in the manufacture of the insecticide Larvin (active ingredient thiodicarb - a PAN Dirty Dozen pesticide). Mike Dorsey, chief of homeland security for the state Department of Environmental Protection, told the Charleston Gazette that "the incident could have been far worse, given the location of the explosion." The process uses methyl isocyanate (MIC), the same chemical that killed thousands when the West Virginia's "sister plant" in Bhopal exploded in 1984. Noting that "Bayer has to make clear which amounts of which substances escaped into the air," Coalition against Bayer Dangers spokesperson Philipp Mimkes told the press: "We repeat our demand that MIC and phosgene stockpiles at Institute have to be dismantled." This was not the first incident at the West Virginia plant. Previous explosions in 1985 and 1994 killed two workers, and a 1996 leak and fire forced residents to "shelter in place." In 2007, dozens of neighbors were hospitalized after drums of thiodicarb ruptured. (Thiodicarb manufacture has been banned in the European Union.) A U.S. EPA survey reported that even under normal operating conditions the plant releases dangerous pollutants. In 2006, the facility released more than 300 tons of c pollutants -- including 200 kilograms of MIC and four tons of chlorine. The Institute plant accounts for 95% of MIC emissions nationwide.

shareMORE - Watch WCHS-TV's video of the explosion | DiggDiggThis

Find out more about Bayer:  Bayer AG is a multinational, multi-industry corporation. In 2002, it restructured itself as a holding company to facilitate better management of its diverse investments, which include crop sciences, polymers, chemicals and health care. Over the years Bayer AG has been associated with terrible environmental scandals, bad labor practices and public health issues. The following is a brief overview of Bayer AG with an emphasis on its Bayer CropScience division:

(Liora's Note: I read the profile (above) about Bayer; before this, I thought Bayer was just the company that manufactured aspirin--NOT!  What I read made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, my stomach queasy, and my heart pound with anxiety--did you know, for instance, that Bayer holds the patents for 9 of 11 genetically modified crops awaiting approval for commercial planting?)

More PANNA News: South African women face pesticide risks; Pesticides contribute to ocean's "Dead Zones"; New natural bio-pesticides announced; Eco-wine goes good with Earth--go to:

Pesticide Action Network North America:

Related Blogs:

The Dirty (1/2) Dozen
 Figured I'd better educate myself about the Top 6 Global AgriBusiness companies, profiled by Pesticide Action Network North America

Organic Bees OK

While bee populations in commercialized hives are declining by rates up to 80%, organic honey bees are thriving!

8/8/08 Bhopal Justice!!

Hunger Strikers in New Delhi ended their fast today, on 8/08/08, after the Indian government agreed to cleanup hazardous waste and provide rehabilitation for the survivors of the 1984 Bhopal pesticide plant explosion!


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