Archived Letter – 1304

Re: Bring back the bees

I am in not in the insecticide business, but I do have a small degree of familiarity with plant production, so I felt compelled to address the errors in last week’s letter to the editor on this topic.

I’ll start by explaining that ‘growth and other activity’ in corn fields is not the same as knowing when those fields were sprayed or with what. Moreover, what happens in corn fields is entirely different from what happens in greenhouses. This is the same faulty logic that has led people to erroneously link autism to vaccines, which has caused irreparable harm.

The only pesticides which are ‘toxic to all insects for a year or more’, like DDT, have been banned for decades. The insecticide applied to the plant you get for your garden lasts 60 days, at the very most, and is likely gone by the time you get it. Aphids wouldn’t be anywhere near as aggravating if it lasted a full year.

There have been numerous independent studies demonstrating the lack of effect on bee populations, and finding other causes we should be talking about and addressing, but yes, some funded by Bayer and other companies. While I can’t speak to their motivation, I’m pretty sure I would defend myself if I was accused of something this serious.

This is a question for science, not anecdotal evidence, amateur speculation and hysteria.

David Brandow