Bayer CropScience officials are rejecting claims that some of the company's pesticides played a role in the disappearance of millions of U.S. honeybees.
The phenomenon, which researchers have called colony collapse disorder, is threatening about $15 billion worth of U.S. crops that are typically pollinated by bees. Scientists are looking at viruses, parasites and other factors that might harm bees, but they haven't determined a cause.
Environmental and consumer advocates in Germany and the U.S. blame pesticides, particularly Bayer CropScience's clothianidin.
John Boyne, a spokesman at Bayer CropScience's U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park, said no data exist linking clothianidin or related pesticides to colony collapse disorder.
"We're supremely confident that when used according to directions, they will not harm bees," spokesman Greg Coffey added.
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