As the pollinator crisis continues this holiday season, groups and concerned citizens across the nation are calling on President Obama to give the gift of pollinator protection by taking decisive action on bee-harming pesticides. Isn’t it about time people keep their word? What happened to accountability?
This past June, the White House released a ‘Presidential Memorandum,’ outlining efforts to protect the honeybees and other vital pollinators, including the creation of a new federal task force to “promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators.”
While this announcement was certainly a step in the right direction and made us all very ‘hopeful,’ it’s now almost 2015 and we have yet to see any meaningful action. Bees and other pollinators have been exposed to these harmful pesticides for long enough. Hello!? Bees have been dying in the headlines worldwide for the past eight years.
We’re losing honeybees, native bees, butterflies, humming birds, and bats. And Noah is not coming to save these species any time soon. This poisonus crap is now in our rivers and can stay in our soil for up to 18 years! Bloody Hell!
Bayer continues to deny accountability despite the evidence that shows otherwise. We need action NOW to suspend bee-killing neonics. The Task Force was set to submit its recommendations to the White House by as early as the end of this week, but now they say it won’t be released to the public until Feb/March.
“We must remind the White House that we expect strong, meaningful action on bee-toxic pesticides when they release their Federal strategy in the coming months,” reads the Petition on Center for Food Safety’s website.
“It’s well past time for the U.S. to to protect pollinators,” says Larissa Walker, Pollinator Campaign Director at the Center for Food Safety. “It’s critical that our government take immediate steps to curb the impacts of bee-toxic pesticides from killing more bees and contaminating our environment.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been ‘in the process’ of reviewing neonics now for too many years. They recently stated that soybeans treated with neonics do not improve yield. That’s a great first step but they need to up their game. By comparison, other countries have already taken action. For instance, the European Union issued a partial ban on three neonics in 2013.
“Based on the body of evidence, we can see that it is absolutely correct to take a precautionary approach and ban these chemicals,” says Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director for the European Economic Area.
Meanwhile, Health Canada acknowledged that neonics were to blame for a huge bee kill a few years ago, and the province of Ontario is currently moving toward an 80 percent reduction in acreage planted with neonic-treated corn and soybean.
So why the hell is the United States of America – a supposed superpower— lagging????
“Given widespread and continued declines of honey bees and other wild pollinators, it’s evident that we can’t wait any longer for action against neonicotinoids,” says Jay Feldman of Beyond Pesticides.
Help take this message directly to the President, by using the hashtag #BeeKindObama to encourage swift action to suspend the use of these bee-harming chemicals.
We must focus on an alternative system that doesn’t rely on these toxic inputs. As a recent University of California Berkeley study shows, organic agriculture can be just as productive as conventional practices.”
We can feed the world with a paradigm shift and localized organic farms.
You can help pollinators this holiday season by asking the President to #BeeKindObama and suspend bee-toxic neonics!
Joining the online action is easy:
- Sign Center For Food Safety’s Petition
- Write out the hashtag #BeeKindObama on a sheet of paper, whiteboard, or print out the shareable bee image here.
- Take a photo of yourself with the hashtag, asking the President to #BeekindObama and suspend harmful neonic pesticides.
3) Upload the photo to social media (Facebook or Twitter)
4) Tweet or post to @BarackObama or @WhiteHouse, and be sure to include the hashtag #BeeKindObama!
Maryam Henein is an investigative journalist, professional researcher, and producer of the award-winning documentary Vanishing of the Bees.
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