University of Arkansas professor calls for EPA approval of neonicotinoid pesticides

From: EP News Wire

By Peter Gallanis

A University of Arkansas department of entomology professor says neonicotinoids do not harm pollinators, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should not delay approving new applications for using the pesticides.

“I’m extremely disappointed the EPA has chosen this path,” Gus Lorenz said this week. “We feel, based on our work, that neonicotinoid pesticides provide very little risk to pollinators, particularly honey bees. It’s a slap in the face to our research and other research as well.”

The EPA said April 2 it will not approve new applications for neonicotinoid pesticides until new data on the risks to honeybees and other pollinators has been submitted and assessed. Lorenz said that research already has been shared with the EPA.

Lorenz’s research involved three of the mid-South’s most popular crops: soybeans, feed corn and cotton. The research team raised its own bees last season, and then put the bees in high production crop areas over a 2.5-mile radius. All the seeds used in the crops were treated with neonicotinoid pesticides.

“We collected data from the bee hives during the season. We collected the bees, wax, pollen they brought back to the hive, the pupas in the hive, the nectar they collected, and our results found they didn’t pick up any of the neonicotinoids, zero,” Lorenz said.

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