Collective Evolution

IN BRIEF

  • The Facts:The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced “emergency” approvals to spray sulfoxaflor — an insecticide considered “very highly toxic” to bees — on nearly 14 million acres of crops known to attract bees.
  • Reflect On:Why do corrupt federal regulatory agencies have the power to do what they please, regardless of how many people oppose it? Why do their actions not take into consideration all life on Earth and the environment when they are tasked to do so?

It’s no secret that pesticides have been killing bees in extreme numbers, especially in North America. Many other countries have imposed bans and restrictions on the pesticides that are sprayed in Canada and America. The idea that pesticides are killing bees in mass amounts isn’t really up for debate, and it’s something that we here at Collective Evolution have been creating awareness about for nearly 10 years.

Since 2006, when the term “Colony Collapse Disorder” or CCD was coined in the U.S., commercial beekeepers have reported extraordinary losses averaging 29 to 45 percent per year. Such losses are unprecedented — more than double what is considered normal. In the last several years, neonicotinoid pesticides — both alone and in combination with other pesticides — have emerged as a key catalyst behind this disturbing phenomenon, both because of their direct toxicity to bees and their indirect and cascading effects. If you’d like to learn more about this, there are countless examples and studies online.

The question that’s most important to ask is: Why and how are substances like these getting approved by our federal health regulatory agencies when they are clearly wreaking havoc on human, animal, and insect health? They are destroying nature.

We must acknowledge that our federal health regulatory agencies have been completely compromised. Big corporations have “captured them (our regulatory agencies) and turned them into sock puppets. They’ve compromised the press.” – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (source)

This is evident thanks to so many examples, including testimonies from employees within these agencies. Known as the ‘Spider Papers,’ a group called the CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, or CDC SPIDER, put a list of complaints in a letter to the CDC Chief of Staff and provided a copy of the letter to the public watchdog organization U.S. Right to Know (USRTK).

We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency.  It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors.

These rouge parties include pesticide manufacturing companies like Monsanto, which is now Bayer. This is also why we constantly see a ‘revolving door’ of employees that go to and from these corporations and our federal regulatory agencies. Merck’s Julie Gerberding is one of several great examples. 

This is why it wasn’t a big surprise when the Environmental Protection Agency recently announced their “emergency” approval of spray sulfoxaflor — an insecticide considered “very highly toxic” to bees — on nearly 14 million acres of crops known to attract bees. Crops of cotton and sorghum in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia are all included in the approval, and 10 of the 11 states have been granted approval for at least four consecutive years for the same “emergency.” Five have been given approval for at least six consecutive years.

5.8 million acres in Texas are implicated, which is home to more than 800 species of bees native to that area. This also includes Monarch butterflies and eight species of bumblebees.

According to the Center For Biological Diversity,

The EPA may approve temporary emergency uses of pesticides, including unapproved pesticides, if it determines they are needed to prevent the spread of an unexpected outbreak of insects.

But the agency has routinely abused this authority, as chronicled in the Center’s report, Poisonous Process: How the EPA’s Chronic Misuse of ‘Emergency’ Pesticide Exemptions Increases Risks to Wildlife. The report found that the alleged “emergencies” cited are foreseeable occurrences.

Last year the EPA’s Office of the Inspector General released a report finding that the agency’s practice of routinely granting “emergency” approval for pesticides across millions of acres does not effectively measure risks to human health or the environment.

In response to a lawsuit by beekeepers, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the EPA’s original registration of sulfoxaflor in 2015. The EPA’s 2016 registration for sulfoxaflor — purportedly designed to ensure essentially no exposure to bees — excluded crops like cotton and sorghum that are attractive to bees.

A study published last year in Nature found that sulfoxaflor exposure even at low doses had severe consequences for bumblebee reproduction. The authors cautioned against the EPA’s current trajectory of replacing older neonicotinoids with nearly identical insecticides like sulfoxaflor. A major study published earlier this year found that more than 41 percent of the world’s insect species are on the fast track to extinction, and that a “serious reduction in pesticide usage” is key to preventing their extinction.

This is politics for you. Presidents and politicians have always been frontmen for corporations and the global elite. These are people that clearly do not care about our planet, the environment, or the beings that live on it. All that seems to be of concern to them is major profit. Furthermore, the drastic and inhumane acts like the spraying of these pesticides, which not only contribute to a massive bee decline, but have harmful implications on human and animal health as well as the environment, makes one wonder what the heck is really going on?

Who in their right mind would approve such a thing? And how is it even justifiable? It’s confusing and heart-breaking to say the least.

The Takeaway

Jane Goodall once told the world that “there are people in government who truly agree when I talk with them, they agree that this mine shouldn’t go ahead, or that dam shouldn’t be built, or Monsanto shouldn’t be allowed to test its seeds here. It’s corruption really, the might of money, the corporations that hold governments in their hands because of lobbying power and so forth, it’s really frightening.”

So, what can we do about it? Well, we can keep using our voices and creating awareness, because that’s the only thing that’s ever lead to any type of change within this area. There are countless activists out there working on this issue, and that’s because we are awake, aware, and clearly see what the problem is.

Now more than ever people are well aware of how big business and money completely control politics. Not everything we see on the surface is accurate, and this awareness alone leads to a change in perception. No, the president and presidents before him are not who you think they are, they are simply puppets. Politics has never really served the people and the planet, it simply provides the illusion that it does.