CVM’s Office of Research was also involved in analyzing protein supplements fed to some honeybee colonies to determine whether they could have been contaminated with melamine. Melamine was involved in a recent large-scale pet food recall. Preliminary results found no evidence of melamine in any of the samples tested. Again, this work was done in cooperation with the Beltsville Bee Lab.
Other CVM offices are following this problem closely and are ready to assist the country’s beekeepers however they can when the causative agent of this syndrome is identified. If a medical need is identified, recent legislation will enable the Office of Minor Use and Minor Species (MUMS) Animal Drug Development and the Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation to encourage pharmaceutical sponsors to obtain approvals for new treatments. The MUMS Health Act was enacted into law on August 2, 2004. It helps make more medications legally available to veterinarians and animal owners to treat minor animal species and uncommon diseases in the major animal species. Some animals of agricultural importance are also minor species, and these include honeybees."
Mysterious Honeybee Deaths Leave Sting on Agriculture
by Walt D. Osborne, M.S., J.D., Assistant Editor
FDA Veterinarian Newsletter 2007 Volume XXII, No III