Florida Citrus Grower That Killed Millions of Bees With Pesticide Gets $1,500 Fine

Discussion in 'Bee News' started by Americasbeekeeper, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    [h=1]Florida Citrus Grower That Killed Millions of Bees With Pesticide Gets $1,500 Fine[/h]By Tim Elfrink Tue., Aug. 27 2013 at 8:59 AM
    Flaunt state law by illegally spraying pesticide that destroys millions of bees, threatens a local ecosystem and costs local beekeepers a quarter of a million bucks? Better think twice! If Florida regulators catch you in the act, you'll have to cough up, uh, about $1,500.
    That laughable penalty has environmentalists and beekeepers fuming in Crystal River, where the state found that citrus giant Ben Hill Griffin Inc. broke pesticide laws twice this year yet has levied only one tiny fine.
    "Every four days, they were spraying seven or eight different types of chemicals," Crystal River beekeeper Randall Foti tells the Palm Beach Post. "A $1,500 fine is not much of a deterrent."
    Worldwide, scientists have been raising the alarm for years about Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious phenomenon that's led to mass bee die-offs. Bees are key pollinators for many vital plants, meaning their disappearance has dire consequences for entire ecosystems.
    Many have pointed to pesticides as a likely cause, and Foti says he's certain that Ben Hill Griffin's chemicals are to blame for his losses.
    On March 19, he asked the state to investigate after aerial pesticide sprayings of the nearby citrus groves killed millions of his bees. Foti later found cans of a pesticide he says the company had been illegally spraying to kill Asian citrus psyllid, an insect pest.
    The state looked into it and last week sent Griffin a later saying the company had indeed broken state law with pesticide sprays in February and March.
    It's the first time state investigators have ever linked a mass bee die-off to citrus growers' pesticides, the Post reports, yet regulators levied only a $1,500 fine. (The most they could have demanded from the company is $10,000).
    Ben Hill Griffin hasn't responded to the state's complaint yet and didn't return calls to the Palm Beach Post. Riptide has also left a message with the firm; we'll update this post when we hear back.
    That fine pales in comparison to Foti's losses, which he says include $240,000 in honey, not to mention the cost to local ecosystems.
    "$1,500 ain't nothin to the grove people," Foti's partner, Barry Hart, says.
    Said Griffin,
    Chairman of the Board, “Its kinda like getting a $35 ticket†after killing the fish and aquatic life in Lake Reedy. May 15, 1973
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Disheartening. :sad:
     

  3. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Perhaps we need to Boycott, Ben Hill Griffin Inc.
    We = All BKs
     
  4. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Here is some info on our bee killer.
    There probably isn't an elected official in the S.E USA, that does know $$$$$ him[​IMG] .

    http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20040226005826/en/Ben-Hill-Griffin-III-Steps-Chairman-Alico

    Ben Hill Griffin III Steps Down as Chairman of Alico Inc.


    ........... Ben Hill Griffin III continues his leadership in the citrus industry, in support of higher education and as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Ben Hill Griffin Inc., one of the state's largest citrus and ranching operations.


    Headquartered in Frostproof, Fla., Ben Hill Griffin Inc. is a private, family-owned corporation, primarily engaged in the citrus, cattle, and ranching industries. The company owns Lake Wales Country Club and Griffin Fertilizer Company, a wholly owned subsidiary that is one of the largest single producers of agricultural fertilizer in the state.


    "Ben Hill Griffin III is truly a giant in Florida's citrus industry," said Bob Crawford, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus. "In almost six decades of growing citrus, Ben Hill Griffin Inc. has become one of the most successful agribusiness companies in the country, one that has set the standard in a number of agriculture-related ventures."


    In addition to his leadership in the citrus industry, Griffin has also been a staunch advocate and generous benefactor of higher education in Florida. The Griffin family's legendary support of higher education includes scholarships and gifts to the University of Florida, Florida State University, Florida Southern, Edison Community College, Eckerd College, Bethune-Cookman College, Florida Atlantic and Florida Gulf Coast University.


    Griffin also continues his work as a board member of the University of Florida foundation. He is on the board of directors of SunTrust Banks, the Florida Council of 100 and the Florida Land Council.
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I wonder if any of those scholarships fund students of entomology or ecology? :confused:
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I guess the way the criminal justice system works in Florida is it is always fortunate to also be rich. or as a famous american songwriter once said.... 'money doesn't talk, it swears'.
     
  7. hlhart2001

    hlhart2001 New Member

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    Hmmm, sounds fair and equitable...NOT! Gees louise:roll:
     
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's how it works in Texas, cross the Governor's palm with silver, do what you want.

    I will remain a small beekeeper as FAR from corporate agriculture as I can stay. I wouldn't work the Almonds for these idiots for all the money in Fort Knox.