EPA Budget Cuts Ensure Pesticides Will Continue to Kill Bees

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Erin Jensen
Email: EJensen@foe.org

EPA Budget Cuts Ensure Pesticides Will Continue to Kill Bees

Annual survey reveals drastic, persistent bee population decline

WASHINGTON - The results of the annual survey of honey bee colony losses were announced today by the Bee Informed Partnership and the Apiary Inspectors of America. Beekeepers reported a stunning 33.2% loss of their bee colonies between April of 2016 and March of 2017, which follows a recent trend of alarming bee population decline.

A large body of scientific evidence suggests that neonicotinoids, the most commonly used class of insecticides, are a key factor in bee declines. The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for reviewing and evaluating the dangers of all pesticides. The Trump Administration has proposed cutting the budget for those programs by 20%.

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“Without protections from an adequately funded EPA, beekeepers stand little to no chance of getting the help they need, and this dire problem will only get worse,” said Tiffany Finck-Haynes, food futures campaigner with Friends of the Earth. “With bee populations declining at such an alarming rate, the EPA should be getting more funding, not less, to protect our critical pollinators.”

Bees and other pollinators are essential parts of the food system, and are necessary for about 75 percent of our global food crops. Honey bees also contribute over $15 billion to the U.S. economy.

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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