Vanishing Bees Reveal Dangers of Pesticides

Why won't the US do the right thing, ban dangerous products?
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2008 6:20 PM CDT
A bee collects nectar from the blossom of a Magnolia Tree, on Saturday, July 5, 2008, in Tyler, Texas.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The rapid, mysterious deaths of billions of honeybees demand a closer look at how we use and control pesticides, Al Meyerhoff writes in the Los Angeles Times. A family of toxic chemicals called neonictonoids—led by two Bayer pesticides called Gaucho and Poncho—may be killing off the insects, but Washington will not ban the pesticides because of outdated regulations that require so-called "unreasonable risk."

This year alone, 2.4 million bee colonies collapsed in the US, with negative effects for America's agricultural economy. Yet pesticides remain loosely monitored in America, even after France and Germany banned both Gaucho and Poncho. The environmental repercussions of the chemicals remain unknown, including the danger they pose to humans.