Dear President Obama,
Thank you for calling national attention to the importance of pollinators and the urgent need to protect these dwindling species. As your administration recognized in its June 20, 2014 memorandum, honey bees and other pollinators play a critical role in our agricultural economy and are an integral part of healthy ecosystems. And they continue to suffer immeasurable losses.
Pollinators are facing many challenges, including pesticides, habitat loss, parasites and pathogens. In the past several years, dozens of peer-reviewed independent scientific studies have indicated that a certain class of systemic insecticides, called neonicotinoids, is playing a leading role in poor pollinator health and colony collapse.
Neonicotinoids are now the most widely used insecticides in the world and their use has been repeatedly shown to have lethal and sub-lethal effects on bees, other pollinators and beneficial insects. In December 2013, the European Union implemented a two-year moratorium on three of the worst neonicotinoids in order to protect pollinators—we need to take similar, swift action in the United States.
This problem is urgent. Beekeepers are still suffering record-high losses, and many native bee species are also suffering declines. The Environmental Protection Agency plans to complete its review of neonicotinoids by 2018 – but this timeframe is completely unacceptable given the severity of the current situation.
As the new inter-agency Pollinator Health Task Force finalizes strategies to best safeguard bee populations, we urge you to ensure pesticides, especially neonicotinoids, are taken into account and decisively addressed. They are a key part of the problem and need to be tackled head on.
Center for Food Safety
Last summer, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum outlining efforts to protect the nation's vital pollinators, including the creation a new federal task force to "promote the...
Last summer, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum outlining efforts to protect the nation's vital pollinators, including the creation a new federal task force to "promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators."
The word on the street is that the White House Pollinator Health Task Force may announce its Federal strategy in the coming weeks – let's make sure they follow through with swift and meaningful action to protect honey bees and other pollinators.
It's well past time for the United States to step up and curb the impacts of bee-toxic pesticides (like "neonics") from killing more bees and contaminating our environment. We need your help to put pressure on President Obama and the administration to make sure they do the right thing and protect pollinators from bee-toxic pesticides!
As a co-chair of the White House Pollinator Task Force, it is unacceptable for the Environmental Protection Agency to continue dragging its feet on taking meaningful action on this issue. Their current considerations to merely update pesticide labels and encourage states to adopt their own pollinator protection plans are not nearly enough. Bees and other pollinators have been increasingly exposed to these toxic pesticides for long enough – we need action NOW to stop the harms of bee-killing pesticides.
Let's make sure any actions coming from the White House and our government agencies are strong and effective – pollinators have already suffered enough at the expense of toxic pesticides.