BANNING BEE KILLING PESTICIDES

ABSTRACT: Pesticides and other toxic chemicals are ubiquitous in our environment and even in our blood. Regulation of them is weak. One of the unintended consequences of widespread pesticide use is the harming or killing of animals, other than those targeted. Last month, 50,000 bumblebees died after a spraying of the pesticide dinotefuran. The class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, of which dinotefuran is one, is the likely culprit in a broad decline in bee populations. Europe has already implemented restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids.

A bill has been introduced in the US House to restrict the use of these chemicals until we can be sure that they are safe and being used properly. The bill is H.R. 2692, the “Save America’s Pollinators Act”.

I urge you to join me as a citizen co-sponsor of this important legislation by signing the petition at: http://org.credoaction.com/petitions/tell-congress-stop-the-pesticide-that-is-killing-bees?akid=8530.653385.cfRZJV&rd=1&t=5.

FULL POST: Pesticides and other toxic chemicals are ubiquitous in our environment and even in our blood. Regulation of them is weak at best because the chemical corporations are very active in lobbying, making campaign contributions, and using the revolving door to move personnel between the industry and government regulatory agencies. (See posts of 6/29, 6/21, and 6/10/13 for more information.) One of the unintended consequences of widespread pesticide use is the harming or killing of animals, other than those targeted. Birds were the victims of DDT 50 years ago and today bees appear to be a victim.

Last month, 50,000 bumblebees died after trees in Wilsonville, Oregon were sprayed with the chemical dinotefuran, the key ingredient in Safari pesticide. This was the largest bee die-off ever recorded. Bee populations are declining across the country at an alarming rate, and a class of pesticides, called neonicotinoids, of which dinotefuran is one, is the likely culprit.

Both our environment and food supply are inextricably tied to the welfare of bees, making the decrease in bee populations a cause for alarm. Many crops, including fruit trees, rely on bees for pollination. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is investigating the die-off and is temporarily restricting the use of 18 pesticide products containing dinotefuran and the Environmental Protection Agency is currently reviewing the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. However, that review is not scheduled to be completed for another five years. Europe has already implemented restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids.

A bill has been introduced in the US House of Representatives by Congressmen Earl Blumenauer and John Conyers to restrict the use of these chemicals until we can be sure that they are safe and being used properly. The bill, H.R. 2692, the “Save America’s Pollinators Act”, would suspend certain uses of neonicotinoids until the Environmental Protection Agency reviews these chemicals and makes a new determination about their proper application and safe use. This will increase pressure on the EPA to speed its review before another mass bee die-off occurs. One strategy for getting the bill passed is to include it in the reauthorization of the Farm Bill, which is currently under active consideration.

I urge you to join me as a citizen co-sponsor of this important legislation by signing the petition linked to below. You can also contact your Representative and urge him or her to support this legislation.

Will you join me and add your name to this petition to the United States Congress asking it to pass legislation suspending use of the pesticides that are killing bees?

This petition was created on org.credoaction.com, a new people-powered platform that allows activists to start and run petition campaigns. org.credoaction.com helps activists like you make progressive change and fight regressive policies by creating online petitions.

NOTE: Please let me know by submitting a comment on this post if you would like me to continue sharing links to on-line petitions on issues I have written about. These petitions are an easy way to express your opinion and increase its weight by combining it with that of others. The effectiveness of these petitions varies greatly based on a wide range of factors, but there’s little downside given how quick and easy it is to do. Each petition also will give you a link to the advocacy organization sponsoring it. If it’s an issue you are particularly interested in, you may want to engage directly with the organization. One forewarning: in many cases when you sign a petition the sponsoring organization will put you on their email list. In some cases, there is a check box on the petition that you can uncheck if you don’t want the organization to start sending you information. You can, of course, always unsubscribe via any email you get from such an organization

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2 comments

  1. harry simmons · · Reply

    Thanks– Did you see the movie/documentary “More than Honey” ? We saw it in Cambridge a while ago– a good/sad story about bees. Pura Vida , Harry

    1. Harry, No, I haven’t seen it. I assume it expands upon my post, documenting the dangers to bees from pesticides and their importance to our agriculture and ecosystem. Thanks! John

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