Potential Lawsuits Arising: Pesticides Damaging Bee Populations

We all know that bee colonies have been seriously damaged in Europe and North America over the last two decades. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is the term, which has been coined to describe the devastating northern hemisphere phenomenon. What happens is that adult bees die and you are left with a live queen bee and immature bees. This is classified as a dead colony by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). No causes for the plague like syndrome have been scientifically identified.

In a survey released by the Bee Partnership, a consortium of universities and research labs, there have been thousands of apiarists declaring colony losses of around forty-two percent of their stocks in 2015. These are serious numbers and come on the back of thirty-four percent losses in 2013 and 2014. Bees don’t just make honey, they also pollinate orchards and food crops across the globe; being responsible for about a third of all such food crops. You have heard the expression, “busy as a bee”, I am sure. Bees are an integral part of food production on this planet.

Potential Lawsuits Arising: Pesticides Damaging Bee Populations

Bee keepers are certain that the culprit is something called ‘neonicotinoids’, which are a new generation of pesticides. They say that wherever these pesticides have been released bee colonies suffer from CCD on mass. In places like Montana, in the USA, where some remote regions have little or no agriculture, and the neonicotinoids have not been released, CCD does not exist. Despite widespread belief, beekeepers have not up until now been able to prove their case; and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not acted on their complaints. Big agriculture in the US has gone from pest eradication policies to pest prevention policies; and neonicotinoids are a big part of the new strategy.

Law forms in the US and around the world are beginning to represent bee keepers in their class actions against the EPA and the makers of these pesticides. Although, as yet not successful, the courts have given leave for plaintiffs to amend cases and continue their legal actions. A group called Earthjustice, which is a coalition of public interest groups, has filed a lawsuit in California and that continues to this day. The science is complex and these legal actions are being fought on the science involved in these new generation pesticides.

Many law firms around the world, including Adelaide law firms see that producers of pesticides could face legal action.