For Immediate Release
Media Director, (415) 981-1771
Statement on USDA Honey Bee Report: More Inaction
WASHINGTON - Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report on honey bee health compiled from conference presentations last October. The conference and report follow widespread public attention to declining bee populations in the United States, declines increasingly linked to pesticides. The report also comes in the same week that European leaders voted to enact a continent-wide restriction on the use of bee-harming pesticides.
In October, conference participants—largely comprised of federal officials, pesticide manufacturers and some beekeepers—failed to develop a set of shared conclusions and clear next steps to protect honey bee health. According to today’s USDA report, an action plan is 5-10 years away.
In response to the report, Paul Towers, a spokesperson for Pesticide Action Network, released the following statement:
“Federal officials have failed to take the issue of bee declines seriously. Following the worst year for bee losses in U.S. history, officials have focused on a series of bureaucratic processes rather than coordinated action. The new report from USDA restates some important points in existing research but misses the bigger picture.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Never Miss a Beat.
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
Multiple factors are at play in bee declines, including nutrition, pathogens and pesticides—with science increasingly pointing to pesticides, alone and in combination with other stressors, as a key catalyst. There is no silver bullet when it comes to protecting bees, and we should take a comprehensive approach to protecting pollinators. But we know pesticides, specifically neonicotinoids, are harming bees and policymakers should be taking immediate action to address this known threat. Bees cannot wait.
Europe took bold action earlier this week by following the science and restricting the use of bee-harming products. The U.S. needs to step up and protect bees too.
Instead of taking decisive action to protect bees, beekeeper livelihoods and the agricultural economies relying on pollination services, EPA and USDA continue to be swayed by pressure from pesticide manufacturers. Officials have the mandate to restrict pesticides that pose harm to the economy and the environment. It’s time for them to do just that.”
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
PANNA (Pesticide Action Network North America) works to replace pesticide use with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five autonomous PAN Regional Centers worldwide, we link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens' action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society.