This week, the New York Times waved a triumphant flag in the struggle to solve colony collapse disorder.
“It has been one of the great murder mysteries of the garden: what is killing off the honeybees? Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough.”
So that was easy. While other countries like Germany and Italy have blamed (and subsequently banned) pesticides called neonicotinoids for colony collapse disorder, apparently the American “Dream Team” has come to a different and miraculous conclusion.
But wait. Not so fast.
Two days after the NYT article, CNN revealed something disturbing about the study.
What the lead scientist, Jerry Bromenshenk of the University of Montana, did not share is that he receives significant funding for his research from — yep, you guessed it — Bayer CropScience, the leading producer of those banned chemicals – neonicotinoids. Bayer, the exact company that benefits if its largest market, the U.S., believes CCD is solved and has nothing to do with pesticides.
“In recent years Bromenshenk has received a significant research grant from Bayer to study bee pollination. Indeed, before receiving the Bayer funding, Bromenshenk was lined up on the opposite side: He had signed on to serve as an expert witness for beekeepers who brought a class-action lawsuit against Bayer in 2003. He then dropped out and received the grant.”
And so the mystery continues… Or does it?