Posted 18 Dec 10
See leaked document to which Bayer responds ...
Bayer Responds To Critical Study Claims
Bayer CropScience was recently made aware of an unauthorized release from within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of a document regarding the seed treatment product, clothianidin, which we sell in the United States corn market. In response to this document, some environmental groups made claims against clothianidin with regard to the honey bee population. We believe these claims are incorrect and unwarranted.
Clothianidin is the leading seed treatment on corn in the United States and has been used extensively for more than six years without incident to honey bees. In fact, the long-term field study referenced in the EPA document was conducted with clothianidin-treated seed and showed that there were no effects on bee mortality, weight gain, worker longevity, brood development, honey yield and over-winter survival.
Bayer CropScience stands behind the science and safety of our products and the benefit of seed treatments as a technology for growers to providing healthy and affordable food. And we are working with EPA to address this situation and ensure accurate information is shared with the public.
We published a statement on our website today in response to this issue (see attached). We've also developed the below fact sheet about clothianidin and honey bees that we encourage you to read at your convenience.
Thank you for your support.
WEB PAGE STATEMENT
Bayer CropScience Responds to Honey Bee Concerns
12/14/2010 Bayer CropScience LP announced that the claims by and unwarranted with regard to honey bee concerns.
Bayer CropScience was recently made aware of an unauthorized release from within the Environmental Protection Association (EPA) of a document regarding the seed treatment product, clothianidin, which is sold in the United States corn market. Bayer CropScience disagrees with the claims by some environmental groups against this product and we believe these are incorrect and unwarranted with regard to honey bee concerns.
The study referenced in the document is important research, conducted by independent experts and published in a major peer reviewed scientific journal. The long-term field study conducted in accordance with Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) by independent experts using clothianidin-treated seed showed that there were no effects on bee mortality, weight gain, worker longevity, brood development, honey yield and over-winter survival. The EPA reviewed and approved the study protocol prior to its initiation and it was peer-reviewed and published in the Journal of Economic Entomology*. Upon reviewing the results of the long-term trial, the Agency noted the study as “scientifically sound and satisfies the guideline requirements for a field toxicity test with honey bees.
Clothianidin is the leading seed treatment on corn in the United States and has been used extensively for over six years without incident to honey bees. Innovative seed treatment technology represents an environmentally sound approach to crop protection. Treating the seed provides a targeted and effective means of application that helps increase yields, safeguard our environment and ensure a sustainable means of crop production.
NOTE: More information on Bayer CropScience and honey bees can be found at:
*Clothianidin Honey Bee Field Study: Journal of Economic Entomology, 100(3): pages 765-772
BAYER FACT SHEET
Bayer CropScience has an inherent interest in helping to ensure the existence of robust agricultural systems around the world. Pollinators are an essential component of these systems. We understand the importance of thoroughly researching the causes of bee health problems and support efforts in finding remedies.
Honey Bee Hazards
Honey bees are subjected to many sources of health hazards. These come from naturally-occurring factors, such as predators, parasites and diseases, but can come from other causes, such as inadequate food supplies, habitat disruption, colony manipulation, exposure to environmental toxicants and lack of genetic diversity.
Colony Collapse Disorder
Unlike many well-known honey bee maladies, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a more recent term used to describe the sudden disappearance of worker honey bees from a colony, with an apparently healthy queen and brood left behind. Although recent reports have highlighted fears about CCD, reports of similar colony collapses, or die-offs have been documented many times in previous years, as early as 1896.
The Cause of CCD
CCD has been linked to a combination of parasitic mites and honey bee pathogens. Despite some claims in the media, there is no evidence linking pesticides, including neonicotinoids, to CCD. Current research on bee health indicates that honey bees are facing significant stress from multiple factors, including parasites, diseases, lack of genetic diversity, climate change, pesticides, and stress-induced impacts (such as colony transport).
Neonicotinoids are one of the more modern classes of pesticides and are noted for their effectiveness in controlling harmful pests and relatively favorable environmental impact. Some neonicotinoids, such as clothianidin, the leading seed treatment on corn, are highly toxic to honey bees. Despite its acute toxicity, clothianidin may be used without causing harm to honey bee colonies by following the label directions.
Field Studies on Clothianidin and Honey Bees
A long-term field study conducted by independent researchers using clothianidin-treated seed showed that there was no effect on bee mortality, weight gain, worker longevity, brood development, honey yield and over-winter survival when compared to bees observed in untreated controls. This study was peer-reviewed and published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, 100(3): pages 765-772 (2007).
Commercial Use of Clothianidin
Actual commercial use of clothianidin supports the conclusions of controlled field studies. Clothianidin is the leading corn seed treatment insecticide and has been used extensively for over 6 years without incident to honey bees in the United States.
Need for Seed Treatments
Innovative seed treatment technology represents an environmentally compatible approach toward crop protection. Treating the seed provides a targeted and effective means of application that helps increase yields, safeguard our environment and ensure a sustainable means of crop prod