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EPA: No Single Cause For Colony Collapse Disorder 129

Posted by Soulskill
from the couldn't-bee-easy dept.
alphatel writes "Citing a wide range of symptoms, a federal report (PDF) released yesterday has concluded that no single event, pesticide or virus can be held responsible for CCD in North American bee colonies. Meanwhile, Europe has moved towards banning neocotinids for two years. EPA's Jim Jones stated, 'There are non-trivial costs to society if we get this wrong. There are meaningful benefits from these pesticides to farmers and to consumers, as well as for affordable food.' May R. Berenbaum, head of the department of entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a participant in the study, said, 'There is no quick fix. Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking.'"
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EPA: No Single Cause For Colony Collapse Disorder

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  • One hole at a time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 03, 2013 @05:31PM (#43625047)

    Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking

    But it is one less hole to worry about.

  • by RoknrolZombie (2504888) on Friday May 03, 2013 @05:41PM (#43625135)
    No shit...it's obvious that not doing anything at all isn't going to fix the problem. Normally I don't support banning things because they "might" be affecting something else, but under these circumstances I'd say it might be worth some experimenting to see what might *help*. FFS, the more we sit and wait to see what's going on, the fewer bees we have to do their job. I realize other animals pollinate as well, but they don't do it nearly as efficiently as bees...and frankly, I think this problem is much easier to solve than the problem of how to get our fucking food to grow in five years.
  • by slew (2918) on Friday May 03, 2013 @06:02PM (#43625283)

    News at 11...

  • Sink the boat (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fox171171 (1425329) on Friday May 03, 2013 @06:10PM (#43625329)
    There is no quick fix. Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking.

    Yes, much better not to patch any holes at all, and let the boat sink, than to risk patching a hole that wasn't leaking. Hell, maybe we should drill a few more holes, just to be sure.

    There are meaningful benefits from these pesticides to farmers and to consumers, as well as for affordable food.

    There are meaningful benefits from these bees to farmers and to consumers, as well as for affordable food.'

    There, fixed that for you.

    I think it would be better to be condemned for doing something and failing, than to be be damned for standing back and watching it happen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 03, 2013 @06:17PM (#43625395)

    You don't even know what you are acting against. Yet you would stop doing what is provably beneficial today to just 'do something'. Sounds like zombie logic.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday May 03, 2013 @06:34PM (#43625549)

    I know you live in your own little life and have very little appreciation to what it's like in other parts of the country or the world. But to many people, more expensive food is the same as no food at all.

  • by denzacar (181829) on Friday May 03, 2013 @06:47PM (#43625637) Journal

    what it's like in other parts of the country or the world. But to many people, more expensive food is the same as no food at all.

    Fortunately, EU countries where neocotinids have been temporarily banned, tend not to be among such countries. [bbc.co.uk]
    No, not even Greece. [bbc.co.uk]

  • by khallow (566160) on Friday May 03, 2013 @06:58PM (#43625731)

    In the history of mankind, it has never been a BAD idea to ban a pesticide.

    The obvious counterexample is DDT. It got banned and as a result malaria wasn't eradicated. This link claims 50 million lives lost [discoverthenetworks.org] due to the ban since the 70s.

  • by Steeltoe (98226) on Friday May 03, 2013 @07:00PM (#43625749) Homepage

    Support for your line of thinking:

    Salon: Without honeybees, we may cease to be [salon.com]
    The report concludes, “imidacloprid seems to be a substance particularly ’fit for the precautionary principle’.” It cites the chemicals’ ability to harm honeybees and wild bees at minute doses and its persistence in the soil for several years. Additionally, it notes that after Italy temporarily banned neonicotinoids in several crops, reports of high honeybee mortality decreased from 185 to two.

    The line of thinking to keep doing harm without testing wether bans might work, for short term profit, is frankly both suicidal unscientific.
    Doing harm in the name of profit is evil.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 03, 2013 @07:27PM (#43625901)

    You're suggesting that the only way we will ever stop malaria is to poison mosquitoes into extinction?

    That's very short term thinking.

    50 million lives were lost because they weren't "rich enough" to deserve our health care or research funding. It's as simple as that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 03, 2013 @08:25PM (#43626191)

    No shit...it's obvious that not doing anything at all isn't going to fix the problem.

    Yeah, the battle cry of clueless managers!

    1. We must do something
    2. Here is something
    3. Let's do it!

    You must also think that Carly did a great job as a CEO, at least she DID something!

  • corn syrup? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Friday May 03, 2013 @08:29PM (#43626217)
    Read an article recently that said they have evidence to suggest that feeding bees corn syrup to replace the honey that they would normally eat weakens their immune system because the honey contains all sorts of good biological things that are remnants from the plants they harvest the nectar from. Instead, we steal their honey and feed them factory produced high fructose corn syrup. Pesticides, insecticides, corn syrup.. It's no wonder they're dying....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 03, 2013 @08:39PM (#43626293)
    Poe's law strikes again...
  • by hawkingradiation (1526209) on Friday May 03, 2013 @09:11PM (#43626491)
    It kind of occurs to me that they would most likely say that there is no evidence if there was none. Since they didn't say there was no evidence, I suppose there is some. I would also point out that there is an active lawsuit [panna.org] (first google hit) going against the EPA and possibly this is the reason for the article. I also read that there was at least one paper on the cause of colony collapse disorder. Don't know if they/it can be found on Google Scholar here [google.ca]. Bayer crop science is the villan for promoting the use of this. Anyway you look at it, the disappearance of bees may be good for selling one particular seed, but in general very, very bad for the rest of nature and most other agricultural industries too. Think of how Biologist Jonas Salk said: "If all insects on Earth disappeared, within 50 years all life on Earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the Earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.”. This does not mean that all humans have to disappear in order for life to survive however. I would prefer a balance.
  • by bussdriver (620565) on Friday May 03, 2013 @10:44PM (#43626947)

    Big Tobacco delayed progress with FUD for decades but where they finally tripped up is that they didn't fund research into other causes of lung cancer. By conflating the whole issue with tons of information about contributing factors and flat out admitting they were a contributing factor they could continue to this day!

    If you ever came in contact with Asbestos, ate poorly, lived in a polluted city, failed to get X minutes of aerobic exercise and then smoked... (I'd love the aerobic part since smokers tend to hate aerobic exercise; I'm sure their stats would be low on that "contributing factor")

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