There have been suspicions about pesticides causing colony collapse disorder (CCD) where suddenly many bees die or disappear from their hives and never return. In particular, many scientists have been suspecting a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids.
After several large scale bee keeper and organic farmer protests and petitions in France, Italy, Germany, and Slovenia, their governments banned or heavily restricted neonicotinoids a few years ago. Surprise, the greatly diminished bee populations immediately rebounded. Consequently, after conducting its own study, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) banned three neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam).
The ban went into effect December 1, 2013 for a period of two years for further study and would only be repealed after sufficient scientific data is accumulated to provide sufficient evidence that those pesticides are safe for bees. Evidently, the EU countries’ bee colony surge after restricting or eliminating neonicotinoids is not proof enough.
But it’s more likely that sufficient pesticide industry influence and pressure got the two-year period installed so they could find ways to get around or through the ban – “scientifically”. But at least the precautionary principle was applied for now.
That’s a principle which the EPA and USDA don’t understand or appreciate, both of which are heavily infiltrated by industry insiders and lobbyists via the revolving doors between industry and government.