honey_bee

19th May 2013

By Jack Adam Weber

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

We have cause to celebrate! Brighter days for honeybees are around the corner. The EU (European Union) is set to enact the first continent-wide ban on a dangerous class of pesticides known as neocitninoids, or “neonics,” that have been unequivocally linked to declining bee populations.

It is also important that we capitalize on this milestone victory. Please urge the EPA to ban neonicotinoid pesticides by taking a moment to sign the petition here.

Bees have been dying off in droves in the U.S. since 2006. A growing body of scientific evidence points to neonicotinoid pesticides as a key contributing factor, along with pathogens and habitat loss. Neonicotinoids continue to be used in the US, despite the widespread evidence that they are killing off bee populations. With beekeepers in this country reporting record-breaking bee losses this year—up to 40% or more—action to protect honeybees is more urgent than ever.

Three neonic pesticides—including thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid—create an unacceptable risk to bees. All three will be banned from use in the EU for two years on flowering crops such as corn, oilseed rape (aka, Canola), and sunflowers, which bees pollinate. Note that the first of these two crops, corn and Canola, are GMO crops. Nenonics are heavily employed by the biotech industry.

Bees and other insects are crucial food production. They pollinate three-quarters of all crops worldwide. A series of high-profile scientific studies has linked neonicotinoids to huge losses in the number of queen bees produced and big rises in the numbers of “disappeared” bees, those that fail to return from foraging trips.

The chemical industry has voiced concern that a ban on neonicotinoids would lead to the return of older, more harmful pesticides and crop losses. But activists and supporters of the ban point out this has not occurred during temporary bans in France, Italy and Germany. Further, it has been argued that the use of natural pest predators and regular crop rotation can make up for the difference.

Bayer and Syngenta, two companies that produce and promote the neonicotinoids, as well as GMO crops, unsurprisingly argue that the pesticides are safe for bees. However, this is not the consensus of the scientific community. It was also recently revealed that the minister of agriculture for the UK was involved in intense secret lobbying with Syngenta.

Prof Simon Potts, a bee expert at the University of Reading, said: “The ban is excellent news for pollinators. The weight of evidence from researchers clearly points to the need to have a phased ban of neonicotinoids. There are several alternatives to using neonicotinoids and farmers will benefit from healthy pollinator populations as they provide substantial economic benefits to crop pollination.”

It’s a good day for bees! Please celebrate and capitalize by signing the petition here to ban neonics in the USA.

Notes

The countries that voted against the ban were: the UK, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Austria and Portugal.

Ireland, Lithuania, Finland and Greece abstained.

Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, France, Cyprus, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden voted for the ban.

Article Sources:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/29/bee-harming-pesticides-banned-europe

http://action.panna.org/p/dia/action/public

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/28/europe-insecticides-ban-save-bees

Previous articles by Jack Adam Weber:

About the Author

Jack Adam Weber is a licensed acupuncturist, master herbalist, author, organic farmer, celebrated poet, and activist for Earth-centered spirituality. He integrates poetry, ancient wisdom, holistic medicine, and depth psychology into passionate presentations for personal fulfillment as a path to planetary transformation. His books, artwork, and provocative poems can be found at his website PoeticHealing.com. Jack can be reached at [email protected] or on Facebook.

 
 

   

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