More than 100 businesses, including Clif Bar, Nature’s Path, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield, have recently sent a letter to Obama urging him to immediately suspend the use of bee-killing pesticides. The pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, have been repeatedly linked to global bee declines. We must halt their use in order to protect the nation’s food supply, environment, and economy.
Many pesticides have been found to cause grave danger to our bees, leading to events such as the colony collapses in Oregon or the destruction of 37 million bees in Canada. In just the last ten years, over 40% of the bee colonies in the US have suffered Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Bees either become so disoriented they can’t find their way back to their hives and die away from home, or fly back poison-drunk and die at the foot of their queen.
There are many arguments as to what is causing CCD, but the most logical and likely culprit is the increased usage of pesticides by the likes of Monsanto and others. I think it’s time to take a hard look at what we would be missing without bee pollination.
Many of the 118 businesses that signed the letter sell products with ingredients or inputs that are dependent on pollination from bees and other pollinators. Some of these foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and hay (including alfalfa grown to feed livestock). Though already voiced many times, the businesses have once again called on the EPA and other health authorities to swiftly halt the use of and suspend the registrations of neonicotinoids for agricultural uses. Ideally, we should also be investing in and looking for green alternatives to neonicotinoids that support a prosperous and sustainable agricultural system.
We need more help than the light-lifting announced by the USDA, which positively pronounced it would spend $3 million to help the nations honeybees in the Upper Midwest as an act to reverse the damage to bees and colony collapse disorder.
In the letter, the businesses, members of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and Green America’s Green Business Network, voiced concerns about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s delays in restricting neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely-used insecticides.
“We are very concerned about the continued and unsustainable losses of bees and other essential pollinators and what effects this will have on the bottom-line of our industries and economy,” said David Levine, CEO of ASBC.
“Our business network members urge the Obama administration to take immediate action to address the threats pollinators face from pesticides,” added Fran Teplitz, Interim Executive Director of Green America.
“Declining bee populations threaten the health of farming systems across the country. As an organic food company, we rely on agriculture for our ingredients, and agriculture depends on pollinators. This is a clear case where the EPA can use its power to protect the environment and support businesses,” said Clif Bar & Company CEO Kevin Cleary, who signed the letter.
Check out the letter for yourself just below.