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.
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"We're supremely confident that when used according to directions, they will not harm bees," spokesman Greg Coffey added.
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