Beekeepers have been concerned that pesticides are to blame for the
bee die-offs devastating their industry for a while now. As we reported
recently, their losses have spiraled out of control, putting not just the beekeepers but our entire agricultural system in peril.
The concern centers around a class of pesticides called
neonicotinoids, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowed
to be marketed and sold even after the agency’s own scientists’ put up red flags.
And now some in the industry have decided it’s time to formally
challenge EPA’s negligence. On March 21, 27 beekeepers and four
environmental groups filed a petition
[PDF] with the agency asking it to take clothianidin — the
neonicotinoid causing the most trouble — off the market until a
long-overdue, scientifically sound review is completed.