Here, I relate what the journalist said in his article “Déclin des abeilles : les mots qui fâchent”. All quotes, originally in French, were translated by me.
The Epilobee study published on April 7 by the European Commission reportedly failed to address the issue of pesticides, even as research shows the harmful effects of pesticides. S. Foucart’s comment is difficult to synthesize:
“We are therefore in the context of a rather strange exercise, which puts scientific discourse and practice at the service of contingencies external to science. You have to look, but in the “right” direction. You have to find it, but not too much. Above all, to avoid any unwanted discovery.
The architects of the study argue that it would have cost to take samples from all the beehives visited. It’s fair game. But let’s read the thirty pages of the published report: the word “pesticide” is not there. The word “insecticide” either, not even an understatement as benign as “phytosanitary product”.
We look, in vain, for the words “agriculture”, “agricultural practices”… We rub our eyes. It is as if an epidemiological study on the causes of lung cancer had not only failed to question participants about their tobacco consumption, but that, moreover, the words “cigarette” or “smoking” were excluded from its study. Report. […]
This semantic modesty recalls that of old studies funded by American tobacco companies, which first attributed lung cancer to air pollution, radon, genetic predispositions and, possibly, to… “way of life” – that is, ie to cigarettes.
That science is being practiced in a context where it is not possible to state such a trivial fact as the harmfulness of insecticides to insects should give us deep concern. Not necessarily for the bees but, above all, for what it says about our society. “