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posted by cmn32480 on Friday September 23 2016, @10:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the bee-nicer-to-nature dept.

Common Dreams reports

Agrochemical giants Syngenta and Bayer discovered in their own tests that their pesticides caused severe harm to bees, according to unpublished documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the environmental group Greenpeace.

The companies conducted the trials on products that used the controversial pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or neonics, which have long been linked to rapid bee decline. Neonics are also the world's most commonly used pesticide.

According to their own studies, Syngenta's thiamethoxam and Bayer's clothianidin were found to cause severe harm at high levels of use, although the effect was lessened when used under 50 parts per billion (ppb) and 40ppb respectively, the Guardian reports.

However, as Greenpeace notes, the research "assumes a very narrow definition of harm to bee health and ignores wild bees which evidence suggests are more likely to be harmed by neonicotinoids".

That means the findings may "substantially underestimate" the impact of neonics, Greenpeace said.

[...] the studies are not realistic. The bees were not exposed to the neonics that we know are in planting dust, water drunk by bees, and wildflowers wherever neonics are used as seed treatments. This secret evidence highlights the profound weakness of regulatory tests.

Our previous discussions about neonicotinoids.

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday October 01 2016, @06:39PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday October 01 2016, @06:39PM (#408856) Journal

    We were discussing deception and you brought up Du Pont's refrigerants. Those are "two" important ones. Du Pont's publicity said that it introduced HFC-134a in the 1970s, as a less ozone-damaging alternative to CFCs. Du Pont's publicity said that it introduced Suva 134a in 1991, after only four years of development, as a less ozone-damaging alternative to CFCs. Yet the MSDS says they're the same. Hence Du Pont's publicity is very deceptive, or an outright lie. Ok, even if they are exactly the same chemically, what are they lying about?

    Let's note several things which can be different other than chemical composition of the refrigerant: delivery system, managing a group of refrigerants of which Suva 134a is only one part, inert additives (or ruling out inert additives, if they didn't add anything), and of course, the branding.

    Other manufacturers would have been at a disadvantage, because Du Pont had the Freon trademark and, until 1979, a patent on making CFCs with a chromium (III) oxide catalyst ( An announcement from Du Pont that it was ceasing production could have stimulated discussion—and further action—while creating good publicity. You seem to value good publicity.

    Needless to say, I don't buy what you're selling. It's very easy to second-guess other peoples' decisions when it doesn't matter how wrong you are.

    The bulk of my previous post was a quote from the UN about how Du Pont did not do what Greenpeace wanted.

    I already refuted that.

    Du Pont could have developed the hydrocarbon refrigerants, such as propane, that Greenpeace have been promoting and helped to develop. Because they can be purified from petroleum and natural gas, and needn't be synthesised, I imagine that they can be made even more cheaply than CFCs. Customers would have welcomed those cheaper options, had they been on the market.

    What makes you think they didn't? The obvious problem here is that propane and of course, Greenpeace's Greenfreeze (isobutane) are flammable. I think a key part of Greenfreeze's success was simply that refrigerators no longer leaked refrigerant like they used to (again due in large part to the Montreal Protocol and subsequent regulation which also worked on reducing leakage of refrigerants). This is yet another thing that DuPont doesn't have control over.