Tell EPA to Protect Our Honey Bees!
12 Sep, 2012
Despite over one million supporters urging the agency to act swiftly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has refused to take emergency action on a critical petition filed last March by more than 25 affected beekeepers along with the Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides and the Pesticide Action Network North America. The petition called for suspending the use of clothianidin, a toxic pesticide shown to adversely impact the survival and health of honey bees, and cause harmful effects to numerous other invertebrate species. While failing to issue an immediate suspension, EPA opened a public comment docket, which ends September 25th, to allow any member of the public to comment on the legal petition.
On average, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that beekeepers have been losing over 30% of their honey bee colonies annually since 2006—but some are losing much more, and their livelihoods are threatened. At the same time, hundreds of beekeepers each year suffer major bee kills caused by dust contaminated with clothianidin and its close chemical cousin, thiamethoxam. This cannot go on. Honey bees are an indicator species, and also essential for our food system: one-third of our agricultural supply is pollinated by honey bees – without pollinators, many of our most widely-consumed crops cannot be grown.
Germany, Italy, France and other countries have suspended major uses of these pesticides in the last few years. But EPA has continued to ignore many well-researched, scientifically-sound studies and reports illustrating the alarmingly adverse effects that these new systemic pesticides are causing.
It is imperative that EPA acts swiftly to suspend clothianidin and other pollinator-toxic pesticides until it can scientifically demonstrate they are safe.
Please take a moment to urge EPA to grant the beekeeper and NGO petition. Honey bees and other pollinators need our help—speak up and insist that EPA suspend the use of this toxic pesticide. The more public comments the EPA receives in favor of this petition, the better our chances for saving these critical species and protecting our food supply.