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Bee deaths linked to Bayer pesticide and explosion?

This is just interesting. I found a couple of articles on a website , that though not linked together seem.. 'odd' Check it out if you have time..
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Bayer on defensive in bee deaths
Aug 26, 2008

Bayer CropScience is facing scrutiny because of the effect one of its best-selling pesticides has had on honeybees.
A German prosecutor is investigating Werner Wenning, Bayer's chairman, and Friedrich Berschauer, the head of Bayer CropScience, after critics alleged that they knowingly polluted the environment.

The investigation was triggered by an Aug. 13 complaint filed by German beekeepers and consumer protection advocates, a Coalition against Bayer Dangers spokesman, Philipp Mimkes, said Monday.

The complaint is part of efforts by groups on both sides of the Atlantic to determine how much Bayer CropScience knows about the part that clothianidin may have played in the death of millions of honeybees.

Bayer CropScience, which has its U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park, said field studies have shown that bees' exposure to the pesticide is minimal or nonexistent if the chemical is used properly.

Clothianidin and related pesticides generated about $1 billion of Bayer CropScience's $8.6 billion in global sales last year. The coalition is demanding that the company withdraw all of the pesticides.

"We're suspecting that Bayer submitted flawed studies to play down the risks of pesticide residues in treated plants," said Harro Schultze, the coalition's attorney.

"Bayer's ... management has to be called to account, since the risks ... have now been known for more than 10 years."

Under German law, a criminal investigation could lead to a search of Bayer offices, Mimkes said.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the Natural Resources Defense Council is pressing for research information on clothianidin.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the pesticide in 2003 under the condition that Bayer submit additional data. A lawsuit, which the environmental group filed Aug. 19 in federal court in Washington, accuses the EPA of hiding the honeybee data.

The group thinks the data might show what role chlothianidine played in the loss of millions of U.S. honeybee colonies.

Researchers have been puzzled by what is causing the bees to disappear at what is considered an alarming rate.

The phenomenon, known as colony collapse disorder, threatens a $15 billion portion of the U.S. food supply.

In the U.S. diet, about one in three mouthfuls comes from crops that bees pollinate.

Scientists are looking at viruses, parasites and stresses that might compromise bees' immune system. In the past two years, Congress has earmarked about $20 million to boost research.

Clothianidin, sold under the brand name Poncho, is used to coat corn, sugar beet and sorghum seeds and protect them from pests. A nerve toxin that has the potential to be toxic for bees, it gets into all parts of the plant that grows from the coated seeds.

In 1999, French regulators banned an older relative of Poncho and subsequently declined approval for clothianidin. French researchers found that bees were a lot more sensitive to the pesticides than Bayer CropScience studies had shown.

Three months ago, German regulators suspended sales of chlothianidine and related chemicals after the family of pesticides was blamed for the destruction of more than 11,000 bee colonies.

The Julius Kühn Institute, a state-run crop research institute in Germany, collected samples of dead honeybees and determined that clothianidin caused the deaths.

Bayer CropScience blamed defective seed corn batches.

The company said that the coating came off as the seeds were sown, which allowed unusually high amounts of toxic dust to spread to adjacent areas where bees collected pollen and nectar.

Bayer paid about $3 million in damages, Mimkes said.

http://www.newsobserver.com/business/story/1193866.html
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Okay,, now that you've take a peek at that,, check out THIS article if you will...
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Germany and France Ban Pesticides Linked To Bee Deaths; Geneticist Urges U.S. Ban June 23rd, 2008

In light of recent European bans of a pesticide linked to Bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), at least one key bee expert is calling for a ban of the same pesticide in the United States.

“In the United States, drastic action is needed,” says Canadian geneticist Joe Cummins, explaining that U.S. farmers and beekeepers shouldn’t have to wait for more evidence or for an air-tight explanation for the complex syndrome, which threatens one in every third bite of food in the United States. Now most apiarists and scientists realize that pesticides are a factor in CCD, he says.

Cummins’ remarks, in an interview with GreenRightNow, come less than a month after Germany’s ban of clothianidin, a pesticide commonly used to keep insects off of corn crops. Germany banned the pesticide after heaps of dead bees were found near fields of corn coated in the pesticide, and in response to scientists who report that the insecticide severely impairs, and often kills, the honeybees that corn and other crops depend on for pollination.

The German government took the extraordinary action to protect bees and other essential pollinators, stating that there is now enough compelling evidence connecting the chemical to Bee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in that country.

The ban also will likely fuel the European debate over genetically modified food, which involves treating crop seeds to resist harm from pesticide treatments. Critics of such modified foods say they are harming the environment, and have unknown human consequences, for little or no crop gain. Some scientists in Europe have called for their ban.

Bee Colony Collapse has been threatening bees, and the crops they serve, around the world for the past several years.

In other parts of Europe, including France, studies of other pesticides have shown they are negatively impacting bee behavior – and contributing to the collapse of entire bee colonies. France has outlawed the use of the pesticide imidacloprid — which like clothianidin is classed as a “neonicotinoid.” Imidacloprid has been linked to disoriented behavior in honeybees – and may help explain why many CCD cases result in abandoned hives.

“I think the Environmental Protection Agency would be well advised to put an immediate emergency ban on the neonicotinoid seed-treatment pesticides. I would say on all pesticides,” says Cummins.

The ban in Germany, and Cummins’ call for a U.S. ban, should be no surprise to the EPA. The agency’s own fact sheet on clothianidin shows that it has known of the dangers to bees since it conditionally approved the chemical in 2003.

http://www.greenrightnow.com/2008/06/23/germany-and-france-ba...
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And just ONE more if you will.. This one leads me to believe this 'explosion' may not be any kind of accident...
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August 28th
INSTITUTE, W.Va. -- An explosion that killed one worker Thursday night at the Bayer CropScience plant in Institute appears to have occurred in a new chemical tank that was added during a recent routine maintenance shutdown of a pesticide unit, a company official said today.

Chris Dorst An explosion was reported at the Bayer CropScience Plant in Institute at 10:35 p.m.

"It appears to have occurred right at the back end of the process where we treat process residues," Crosby said. "[But] I can't tell you today what caused the incident. We don't know yet."

As the company began its own probe, inspectors from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration were on site for their own investigation. And a team from the federal Chemical Safety Board was in route to begin a review, said agency spokesman Daniel Horowitz.

"It's under investigation, and it could be a couple of days or a couple of weeks before they know exactly what happened," said Dale Petry, Kanawha County's director of emergency services.

Petry confirmed that plant employee Barry Withrow was killed. A second worker was transported to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment of third-degree burns, company officials said.

Witnesses reported seeing a red fireball and feeling the blast as far away as Charleston. The explosion, at about 10:25 p.m. Thursday, was heard at least as far away as Mink Shoals.

Thousands of residents between South Charleston and the Putnam County line were advised to take shelter in their homes, and the main highways through the area -- Interstate 64, U.S. 60 and W.Va. 25 -- were closed for several hours. The shelter advisory was lifted shortly after 2 a.m. and roads reopened an hour or so after that, officials said.

INSTITUTE, W.Va. -- An explosion that killed one worker Thursday night at the Bayer CropScience plant in Institute appears to have occurred in a new chemical tank that was added during a recent routine maintenance shutdown of a pesticide unit, a company official said today.

The 4,000-gallon cylindrical tank was used to clean up wastes created during the production of the pesticide Larvin, said Bayer site manager Nick Crosby.

"It appears to have occurred right at the back end of the process where we treat process residues," Crosby said. "[But] I can't tell you today what caused the incident. We don't know yet."

As the company began its own probe, inspectors from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration were on site for their own investigation. And a team from the federal Chemical Safety Board was in route to begin a review, said agency spokesman Daniel Horowitz.

"It's under investigation, and it could be a couple of days or a couple of weeks before they know exactly what happened," said Dale Petry, Kanawha County's director of emergency services.

Petry confirmed that plant employee Barry Withrow was killed. A second worker was transported to a Pittsburgh hospital for treatment of third-degree burns, company officials said.

Witnesses reported seeing a red fireball and feeling the blast as far away as Charleston. The explosion, at about 10:25 p.m. Thursday, was heard at least as far away as Mink Shoals.

Thousands of residents between South Charleston and the Putnam County line were advised to take shelter in their homes, and the main highways through the area -- Interstate 64, U.S. 60 and W.Va. 25 -- were closed for several hours. The shelter advisory was lifted shortly after 2 a.m. and roads reopened an hour or so after that, officials said.

The incident could have been far worse, given the location of the explosion and the types of chemicals used and stored nearby, said Mike Dorsey, chief of homeland security and emergency response for the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Dorsey said the unit that blew up contained a variety of dangerous caustics, and the Institute plant is best known for its production of methyl isocyanate, or MIC, the chemical that killed thousands of people at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, in December 1984.

"The thing that blew up was the least dangerous of the stuff that's in there," Dorsey said.

Bayer officials said in a statement that the explosion occurred in a portion of the plant known as the West Carbamoylation Center, where the company makes carbamate pesticides.

The plant makes the pesticide methomyl in the unit, but Bayer does not market that product. Instead, the company uses methomyl to make Larvin, its brand name of the insecticide thiodicarb. It is used to kill pests on cotton, corn and a variety of other vegetables. Larvin is a carbamate insecticide, a class of chemicals made from carbamic acid. Like organophosphate pesticides, these chemicals interfere with the conduction signals of the nervous system of insects, and in cases of poisoning with high levels of exposure, humans.

By itself, Larvin does not generally burn, according to a Bayer material safety data sheet.

But Crosby said the tank involved in Thursday night's blast contained a variety of waste products that were used to make or are created by the production of Larvin. Dorsey said officials were primarily concerned about the presence of methyl isobutyl ketone, or MIBK, a highly flammable solvent that helps to make Larvin.

"What you had was a huge amount of fuel, so there was a really big fire," Dorsey said. The tank also contained hexane and dimethyl disulfide, Dorsey said.

The incident could have been far worse, given the location of the explosion and the types of chemicals used and stored nearby, said Mike Dorsey, chief of homeland security and emergency response for the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Dorsey said the unit that blew up contained a variety of dangerous caustics, and the Institute plant is best known for its production of methyl isocyanate, or MIC, the chemical that killed thousands of people at a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, in December 1984.

"The thing that blew up was the least dangerous of the stuff that's in there," Dorsey said.

The plant makes the pesticide methomyl in the unit, but Bayer does not market that product. Instead, the company uses methomyl to make Larvin, its brand name of the insecticide thiodicarb. It is used to kill pests on cotton, corn and a variety of other vegetables. Larvin is a carbamate insecticide, a class of chemicals made from carbamic acid. Like organophosphate pesticides, these chemicals interfere with the conduction signals of the nervous system of insects, and in cases of poisoning with high levels of exposure, humans.

By itself, Larvin does not generally burn, according to a Bayer material safety data sheet.

But Crosby said the tank involved in Thursday night's blast contained a variety of waste products that were used to make or are created by the production of Larvin. Dorsey said officials were primarily concerned about the presence of methyl isobutyl ketone, or MIBK, a highly flammable solvent that helps to make Larvin.

"What you had was a huge amount of fuel, so there was a really big fire," Dorsey said. The tank also contained hexane and dimethyl disulfide, Dorsey said.

http://www.wvgazette.com/News/200808280743
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Im not quite sure what to think about this yet.. but I think Ill update this blog as things move along if I see more info...
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  • Warren - Novus Ordo Seclorum 2008/08/29 19:59:15
    Warren - Novus Ordo Seclorum
    +5
    Good find with the possible pesticide - bee death connection. I have talked with a local organic farmer and beekeeper who has not noticed any decline or major disease in his hive population over the last several years. Of course, he never uses chemical pesticides.

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  • Mattynr 2008/09/01 06:46:59
    Mattynr
    According to a quote attributed to Albert Einstein;
    "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left." "No more bees, no more pollinations, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

    Four years.......

    Loss of our bees is in the 60-80%
    Scary stuff....... not sure what is being done about it.
  • Underfrog 2008/08/31 13:02:04
    Underfrog
    +2
    Valuable information, thank you for taking the time to post. What is sprayed on our foods is something we need to think about more then just the price.
  • coonass 2008/08/31 07:44:47 (edited)
    coonass
    +2
    I'm not surprised that Bayer's Institute plant blew up - back in the 1980s, Union Carbide had a release of MIC (methylisothiocarbamate) not too long after the Bhopal disaster - right next to Bayer (back when the Bayer plant at Institute was operated by Rhone Poulenc). Both Bayer and Dow (who bought Union Carbide not long ago) work with MIC at the Institute industrial park, and Dow/Union Carbide's safety record sucks; why shouldn't Bayer's?
  • Hairles... coonass 2008/08/31 12:10:09
    HairlessKat the Gnostic
    +1
    You know I always had great respect for Bayer because of their asprin and a new med that came out for animals to remove coccidosis called Baytryl that worked wonders with just 2 tablets. They were the first ones to discover any chemical that could effect the very common but in infant animals, often deadly infection. Then I start really checking them out and that was apparently just the news they wanted people to know about.. the stuff they dont want you to know about is financially dead and buried. I am just frankly terribly disappointed. For all the wonders of medicine comes a heavy price it seems and I cant even say the scales balance out in the end for lives saved anymore with all the poisonings and destruction to the enviorment these folks have wrecked.
  • Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥ 2008/08/30 20:54:01
    Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥
    +3
    Why doesn't a nerve toxin that supposedly "gets into all parts of the plant that grows from the coated seeds" seem to affect humans, or is it affecting humans?

    And why can't they consistently spell "Chlothianidin"? (I had to look up the correct spelling.
  • Hairles... Dave Sa... 2008/08/30 21:12:11
    HairlessKat the Gnostic
    +2
    probably because they are reporters not scientists lol.. and it does affect humans actually according to several well learned scientists. Thats what Monesto and GMO's are about..
  • Dave Sa... Hairles... 2008/08/30 21:46:42
    Dave Sawyer ♥ Child of God ♥
    +2
    Well, a reporter's job is to get the facts, and one of those facts is the name of the chemical - for all they know, they were talking about three different chemicals.
  • Hairles... Dave Sa... 2008/08/30 21:47:48
    HairlessKat the Gnostic
    +1
    alright.... your correct Dave, well done.
  • Underfrog Dave Sa... 2008/08/31 13:03:46
    Underfrog
    +2
    Of course not, looking up a word would be too simple.
  • PigsOnSoma 2008/08/29 21:55:31
    PigsOnSoma
    +3


    Even canned goods leave chemical residues in the food. Glass packaging is probably the safest. Still, it won't kill most people to eat less and send a message to big farms that we don't want their products. If we go back to having seasonal products, this too, would be no great loss.

    It should, by now, be a no brainer that chemical damage often can't be calculated until it's too late. Especially compounds designed to kill certain species.

    I don't use frontline on my dogs - when there's a warning saying no to expose kids to it, clearly something is amiss.

    compounds designed kill species frontline dogs warning expose kids amiss
  • freewill~STS~freespirit 2008/08/29 20:47:42
  • Hairles... freewil... 2008/08/29 21:08:13
    HairlessKat the Gnostic
    +2
    Omg Tim... that is horrific....... but thankyou for adding it.
  • freewil... Hairles... 2008/08/29 21:16:35
  • Hairles... freewil... 2008/08/29 21:26:44
    HairlessKat the Gnostic
    +2
    agreed!
  • freewil... Hairles... 2008/08/30 00:53:02
  • Marky 2008/08/29 20:42:44
    Marky
    +1
    I think I need some Bayer aspirin for this headache!! LOL!

    Marky :o)
  • Cal 2008/08/29 20:39:18
    Cal
    +2
    LOL, Hairless. Do you know what's so funny? I had to read Mary Shelley Wollstonecraft's "Frankenstein" my first year in college. It seemed like fun, far fetched, Stephen King-type stuff, which is cool with me. The professor would babble on about how this related to modern science, yada-yada. I am, because of your blogs, realizing just how SERIOUS it really is. We're truly living in an era of mad scientists.
    I'm not really into horror films but are we living in a bad horror movie? I'm sure 10 or 20 years from now zombies, victims of science, will be roaming the streets and villages of America. And you know what, we could become one of them. LOL
  • Warren - Novus Ordo Seclorum 2008/08/29 19:59:15
    Warren - Novus Ordo Seclorum
    +5
    Good find with the possible pesticide - bee death connection. I have talked with a local organic farmer and beekeeper who has not noticed any decline or major disease in his hive population over the last several years. Of course, he never uses chemical pesticides.
  • Rog [Ninja]™ 2008/08/29 19:54:37 (edited)
    Rog [Ninja]™
    +3
    Yes, more research and maybe some serveys from those affected the most?

    research serveys

    Just came from Our Local Organic Planet Festival last weekend...It's main focus was on Organic Fertilizers and Pesticides.
  • mike 2008/08/29 19:21:55
    mike
    +4
    It amazes me that in this day and age we still produce and use products that are harmful in such ways....What ever happened to "honest" testing and research....much like the lead in paint in Chinesse products..that should never have entered the country.

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HairlessKat the Gnostic

HairlessKat the Gnostic

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2008/05/28 18:27:36

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