EPA Thinks a Piece of Paper Will Save Bees From Pesticides

Things are not looking good for the honey bee. Entire colonies of bees are dying simultaneously, and no one knows why. Well, that’s not exactly true. Dozens of studies have linked the mass die-offs to a powerful new class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids widely used in commercial agriculture.

Despite petitions and protests and yes, even a lawsuit, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has refused to ban neonicotinoids. There have been plenty of discussions and promises of “we’re looking into it,” but nothing that would actually help prevent bee deaths. Including their latest tactic: a new bee-friendly label for the deadly pesticides.

“The EPA is taking action to protect bees from pesticide exposure and these label changes will further our efforts,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, in a press release.


The new labels include a bee advisory box and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions. According to the EPA, these labels will prohibit the use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present. That’s right, they’re claiming that a label will be enough keep factory farms from spraying these common pesticides near bees.

EPA bee pesticide label

First, theyre making a big assumption that pesticide technicians will even stop to read the label. If you’d been using the same product in the same way for years, do you think you’d stop to read the new, very tiny print on the label? No.

Second, theyre making the even bigger assumption that those using pesticides give a hoot about what it may or may not do to bees. Factory farms make their money by producing a huge volume of product. That means everything about the planting, fertilizing, watering and harvesting needs to happen exactly on schedule. What are the chances that, on the day of a scheduled pesticide application, they’re going to stop everything to figure out whether the wind is going to carry the poison to a bee population? Then, if it’s determined that pesticide drift is likely, what are the chances they will suspend the treatment schedule in hopes of a better day? I’d say slim to none.

This label is an insult to the bees and those working to protect them. It is meant to be a diversion, to make it look like the EPA is doing something to crack down on neonicotinoid pesticide use, when in fact it approved another bee-killing pesticide for commercial use just a few months ago.

Rather than do its job, and remove these toxic chemicals from the shelves, the EPA is buckling under pressure from the pesticide industry. While it drags its feet conducting yet another set of “studies,” bees are dropping dead 50,000 at a time. If we lose to many more of these essential pollinators, our food system will begin to suffer irreparable damages; damages that will force food prices to the sky and deny our children many of the fruits and vegetables we grew up loving.

Where’s the friendly warning label for that?

Image via Thinkstock


Linda Todd
Past Member 4 years ago

A massive pesticide company has just asked the U.S. government to increase the legal limit for its bee-killing pesticides by 4000%.

Rhonda B.
Rhonda B5 years ago


Mark Donner
Mark Donner5 years ago

Any staff working in crooked government organizations like FDA, EPA, USDA, FWS should be placed under a public spotlight with a law passed where the public can be notified of their names and responsibilities and then allowed to scrutinize their every move. Like the management of the faceless greedy corporations they serve, government workers have proven they can also never be trusted. Government tends to recruit the worst criminals to do its work so every government worker who is able to make any kind of decision should be forced out of hiding.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Debbie C.
Debbie C.5 years ago

WOW, now I've heard it all! What's up EPA? Do you really think that will help the Bees? Lets give a big thanks to MONSANTO and all the huge money hungry companies out there. They only think about themselves and nothing or no one else. Times ticking BIG CORPS lets not screw it up like you've been doing!!!!!!

Mary Deforest
Mary Deforest5 years ago

The bees are gone in my neighborhood. Part of the problem is that there isn't any food for them. We have a drought, the city complains that trees are dying, but water rates and fines are heinous- if you've been fined 3 times for water usage then a $3,000 fine and they count fines from ten years ago. They lost in court and reduced the fines. Like we went over the water limit when we had to re stucco the house. Contractors don't bring their own water. If we hadn't of stuccoed the house, we would have been fined for substandard housing-possibly kicked out by the city. It's a lose-lose situation for us and the bees. I was going to get a hive, when a friend pointed out there aren't enough flowers in the area to feed the bees.

Rosemary H.
Rosemary H5 years ago

Words fail me!

Glenda L.
Glenda L5 years ago

Is this not the definition of the term "lip service"?

Ernie Miller
william Miller5 years ago

Really? wow big business bought and paid for that non change.

Regine D.
Regine Debus5 years ago