Over the past seven years, the honeybee die-off known as “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD), has claimed 5,650,000 hives, valued at $1.61 billion, according to the Organic Consumers Association.
Italy, France, Slovenia and Germany have taken action to limit the use of bee-killing pesticides. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about to approve a deadly new neonicotinoid called Sulfoxaflor.
Environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the EPA, claiming the agency has failed to protect one of the Earth’s most vital pollinators from dangerous pesticides. Join in the fight for our food!
- Tell Congress to ban neonicotinoid pesticides before they devastate the U. S. bee population.
- RSVP for Swarm the EPA on Earth Day
Why it Matters
If bees die, they cannot pollinate, and 1/3 of U.S. food crops cannot reproduce fruits, vegetables, nuts, and livestock feed. (Visit this impressive list of crop plants pollinated by bees.)
In the short term, dead bees mean less hives, higher hive rental fees, smaller crops, and a rise in food prices. The sharpest bee decline yet in 2012 brought much of these consequences with it. Long-term, the implications are far greater, from economic family struggles and health troubles to food shortages, small farm collapse, and environmental justice issues.
In addition to mites and viruses, the presence of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides are largely being blamed for the increase in bee decline. The largest threats are neonicotinoids. These systemic pesticides are embedded in seeds and the plant carries the chemical that kills insects that feed on it.
It’s a dastardly domino effect. Many bee-keepers feed their colonies high-fructose corn syrup. High-fructose corn syrup is made from Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn and that corn is treated with Bayer’s neonicotinoid insecticides.
New York Times journalist Michael Wines reports in “Mystery Malady Kills More Bees, Heightening Worry:”
But while each substance has been certified, there has been less study of their combined effects. Nor, many critics say, have scientists sufficiently studied the impact of neonicotinoids, the nicotine-derived pesticide that European regulators implicate in bee deaths.
I think the critics he refers to are criticizing the lack of Monsanto’s scientists to study the impact. The 2012 study from Harvard School of Public Health was pretty clear that the link between neocotinoids and bee deaths is obvious.
And, in case you missed it, that’s right. Other parts of the world have determined a deadly link between bee die-off and neocotinoids, but the U.S. presses on. Why? According to the Organic Consumers Association’s article, “Stop the Death of Bees:”:
Poland is the first country to formally acknowledge the link between Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn and the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that’s been devastating bees around the world, but it’s likely that Monsanto has known the danger their GMOs posed to bees all along. The biotech giant recently purchased a CCD research firm, Beeologics, that government agencies, including the US Department of Agriculture, have been relying on for help unraveling the mystery behind the disappearance of the bees.
Now that it’s owned by Monsanto, it’s very unlikely that Beeologics will investigate the links, but genetically engineered crops have been implicated in CCD for years now.
Tell the EPA to protect the food chain, not the biotech companies. The lives of every single being, not just bees, depends upon it. And what human wants to eat corn that kills bees? What, then, is it doing to us?
This post is part of Blog the Change for Animals hosted by Be the Change for Animals. Spend just a few moments and never a cent to make the difference for animals in need! Join in the 15th of every January, April, July and October!