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Possibly lost in the jaw-dropping WTF! statement where the EPA argued its blog isn’t public information is the fact that the EPA, in a PUBLIC BLOG POST ON THE INTERNET WITHIN THE EPA.GOV DOMAIN(!), had the gall to celebrate National Pollinators Week after it expanded the use of the pesticide sulfoxaflor that is considered “highly toxic” to bees. The Doublespeak severely pains this former beekeeper.
“The EPA Blog is an example of information that would not be considered disseminated by the EPA to the public,” Kevin Kirby of the EPA wrote in response to Burd.
I’m quite partial to honeybees since I was a hobbyist beekeeper (got my first bees from the inimitable Richard Taylor on whom David Foster Wallace wrote his undergraduate honors thesis). And so I was particularly bummed about the news of a leaked EPA document (PDF) in which, despite warnings by EPA Scientists about the pesticide clothianidin being toxic to honeybees, EPA approved its use anyway. “Clothianidin has already been banned by Germany, France, Italy, and Slovenia for its toxic effects. So why won’t the EPA follow? The answer probably has something to do with the American affinity for corn products. But without honey bees, our entire food supply is in trouble.”
For more on honeybee colony collapse disorder, I’d highly recommend seeing the documentary Queen of the Sun