21 Apr '11, 7pm

The USDA’s top bee scientist talks pesticides and colony collapse at a D.C. luncheon

The USDA’s top bee scientist talks pesticides and colony collapse at a D.C. luncheon

Buzz kill: honey bees face a variety of threats from industrial agriculture. Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim There was a moment during a luncheon talk yesterday when Jeffrey Pettis, the United States Department of Agriculture's lead bee researcher, almost defended Bayer, the agrichemical company whose pesticide he has tied to the global destruction of bee populations. Pettis pointed out that the class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids were developed as a better alternative to pesticides like DDT. "They were replacing things we knew were really bad," Pettis told the dozen or so naturalists, gardeners, and environmental advocates at the lunch at the Cosmos Club in D.C. Moreover, Bayer had offered products like pre-coated seeds for corn and cotton, which would limit the need to routinely spray whole fields with the treatment. "Even they thought they were targeting things a li...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/industrial-agriculture/2011-04-21-us...

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