The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remains woefully behind proper protection measures for pollinators, most notably the honeybee, which has seen up to a 70 percent loss in their total population, in certain regions. Independent research shows that one of the most likely culprits to this extensive loss is the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids.
The urgency for an act protecting pollinators in America comes from the knowledge that the EPA only reviews pesticide hazards every 15 years, and according to lawsuits brought against the EPA by a coalition of beekeepers and sustainable agriculture advocates, proper investigations are not conducted at that time. After reviewing the scientific findings, the European Union concluded that there was enough credible evidence to support banning the use of these pesticides and continue conducting research to determine if the use of neonicotinoids is a primary contributing factor to the alarming increase in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Harvard research indicates, while there are several potential variables involved in CCD, the evidence that this condition took a dramatic and aggressive hold on honeybee populations at the same time neonicotinoids were introduced into the agricultural industry cannot be ignored.
To understand the impact CCD has on honeybees, consider the realities faced by the people who lived in Pitcher, Oklahoma. Once a thriving mining town, the pollution became so pervasive that EPA declared it uninhabitable in 1996. Still, workers put their families at risk in an attempt to thrive, until a category four (EF4) tornado decimated the town in 2008. By early autumn 2009, the town officially ceased operating, leaving a ghost town in its wake. Such circumstances are similar to what honeybees routinely face. They are relentlessly exposed to unnatural poisons, genetically modified organisms, and rapidly changing weather patterns. The one significant difference is that honeybee decimation is a global concern, rather than a one-town issue, effectively creating a pollinator Armageddon. In the United States alone, honeybees are directly responsible for annually contributing $15 billion worth of produce. More sobering, while that would be a tremendous loss in revenue, it also means worldwide starvation.
Genetically modified organism moguls like Monsanto and Bayer, which are responsible for the production of neonicotinoids, are attempting to bee-wash public concerns over the rapid depletion of pollinators. Monsanto purchased Beelogics, which prior to its purchase was a company dedicated to restoring healthy bee populations. It has since turned into a massive lab experiment area with a goal towards making Monsanto profitable from the demise of pollinators. While that is happening, Bayer is making lecture circuits throughout American farm regions professing neonicotinoids, the most abundant form of pesticide used in the United States, as safe. This not only puts nature at the mercy of chemical factories, but humans as well.
The purpose of living cannot rotate around the singular focus of profit, as that is strictly a man-made condition. There is no common sense found in justifying the annihilation of species known to provide an essential component to healthy living. The rapid depletion of pollinator populations has caused Representatives John Conyers (MI) and Earl Blumenauer (OR) to present the "Save America's Pollinators Act" (H.R. 2692), to strongly urge America to follow in the logical footsteps of the European Union, by placing a moratorium on the use of neonicotinoids.
For those interested, sign the Save the Bees Petition.
This is Deb Duxbury, for Animal Life, reminding you to please spay or neuter your pet.