Do the regulators have the will to prosecute this crime? We shall see.
Unfortunately the Department of Pesticide Regulation has been extremely reluctant to prosecute violations. Director, Dr. Von McCaskil has consistantly refused to have his agents do any preventative monitoring to check applicators for compliance with the bee directions. They will only respond, after a violation occurs and the damage in done. In most cases no action is taken. The only citations we have ever gotton are the ones we presented to the Department in ironclad form, with the investigation basically done before they even got the case.
There is a built in conflict of interest in South Carolina pesticide regulaton. The Department is under Clemson University, which receives research grants from the industry that this department is supposed to regulate. Many of the personnel in the department are people from the industry. Is this why there is such reluctance to enforce the law, which is a nuisance for the industry? Are the foxes guarding the henhouse?
Dr. McCaskil has been lobbying the EPA to weaken the bee-protection directions on the labels, and to return all the work and expense of protection to the beekeepers (which is impossible). The vector control people have been lobbying the EPA for exemption from bee-protection directions, which is a back-door way of admitting that they routinely violate them.
I think they will prosecute this. It's an ironclad case. The malathion label is clear. Inspector Barry Kostyk and I spent the next afternoon retracing the route, and obeserving bees on the roadside flowers. But I doubt that the Department of Pesticide Regulation will have the will to prosecute this as the crime that it is, and the penalty will be a slap on the wrist.
The few impoverished beekeepers have little clout. By the time society realizes how important the bees are, it may be too late to restore our beekeeper/pollinators.
What About the Mosquito Threat?
Caught in the Act! 1. Caught in the Act! 2. What does a pesticide violation look like? 3. Are there blossoms? 4. Are there bees on the blossoms? 5. What is the first rule of pesticide use? 6. Who enforces pesticide laws? 7. Do the regulators have the will to enforce against this crime? 8. What about the mosquito threat? 9. How to comply? 10. How does one set up a monitor? 11. Condoned Evasion Scheme! 12. Hey, not all applications are wrong! 13. Contacts for comment or information Home
Part II: The damage: Bees, Beekeepers Clobbered! More Violations Home