Kim Flottum has a very important paper on his 'Catch the Buzz' Ezine which is a 'must read' for anyone who is concerned about the link between neonics and CCD.
Original report of the SETAC workshop can be read here:
In January 2010 the EPA got together with SETAC (The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) at a major conference in Florida. The event was heavily sponsored by the big pesticide companies, who sent along their delegates in large numbers: The SETAC conference was heavily sponsored by the pesticides industry, so they were well represented; three from Bayer, two from Syngenta, two from BASF (one of whom had boasted on the net about BASF’s financial contribution), one from Monsanto and one from DuPont. In December 2010, the ‘buzz’ we received from the global bee keeping network had been that independent bee scientists who had published the most important peer-reviewed research on neonicotinoids, that had confirmed that they were toxic to honey bees, were all excluded. When they had applied to attend they were told that the conference was full! The delegates were carefully selected, and, until the last minute, the actual dates were kept secret.
So what was the event all about?
The EPA and Bayer know that they do not have a leg to stand on in respect of how they have licensed and registered all the neonics being used in America today - especially Clothianidin - which has been used on 92 million acres of the US corn crop - despite the fact that the EPA's own scientists judged that it should NOT be given a license back in 2003 - since it was proven to be "highly toxic to honeybees".
So the SETAC workshop admitted that the tests and risk assessments which had been used to license Imidacloprid, Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam were all based on tests designed decades earlier for the 'old' pesticides. SETAC and the EPA now admit that these tests are completely irrelvant - because the neonics are not sprayed ONTO the crop - they are used as seed coatings which spread the poison INSIDE the plant, to every part including pollen and nectar - for the entire life-span of the growing crop.
If the EPA were truly an independent, unbiased watchdog - it would arguably hold its hands up and say: "hey guys, we;ve been using the wrong tests for the last 15 years - and they are useless for assessing the risk posed to honeybees by these systemic insecticides". Arguably, they would then WITHDRAW the licenses for the neonics until proper tests had been agreed, piloted and applied.
Guess what . . .they didn't do that. Together with Bayer - Tom Moriarty, who wrote the final report - concluded that the existing tests were not applicable to neonics . . .but there's no need to withdraw the neonics from the market. They just need to do 'more research'.
Now a British doctor - and bee expert - Dr Rosemary Mason - has written a devastating analysis of the SETAC report - which confirms what many have long suspected:
1. The pesticide manufacturers are now in charge of the licensing process
2. They are the ONLY people doing any testing at all - it is their data which gets passed to the EPA
3. The EPA may have started out as the people's watchdog, but it is now toothless, blind and bark-less
Do please read the report at the link above. You will then understand why America has lost 4 million bee colonies in as many years.