Target: U.S. Congress
Goal: Halt use of bee-killing pesticides and allow the EPA to review them
Bees are a crucial player in the United States agricultural industry, pollinating as much as 70 percent or more of food sources. However, bees have been dying off at an alarming rate, and evidence suggests this may be partially due to certain pesticides being used on crops. These pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, are nicotine-based, and are scheduled to be reviewed by the EPA in 2018.
By 2018, it may be too late to save massive amounts of bees. The Save America’s Pollinator’s Act would halt the use of neonicitinoids within six months, and put the chemicals through a review process to see if there is a better way to put them to use without harming the environment. A similar action was taken by the European Union earlier in 2013, where they significantly reduced the amount of neonicotinoids used in farming because of concern for bee populations. The act would also direct the Environmental Protection Agency in conjunction with the Secretary of the Interior to put out a report on native bee populations, including any decline in numbers and causes for such decline.
This act is already opposed by big-name agriculture and chemical companies, so it is essential that the public contributes to getting this act passed. There is more at stake than just big money for big companies. The entire agricultural system is affected by these chemicals, and their use needs to be reviewed before they continue to be used.
Dear U.S. Congress,
As you know, you will soon have the opportunity to vote on the Save America’s Pollinator’s Act. This act would allow for review of nicotine-based pesticides known as neonicotinoids to figure out if the way they are being used is safe for the environment, and if they can be improved upon so that they make less of an environmental impact.
Passing this act is essential to the survival of bees, which pollinate 70 percent or more of the country’s food sources. The number of bees in the country has been declining at an alarming rate, and credible studies show this may be partially contributed to the use of neonicotinoids.
The Save America’s Pollinators Act will not permanently ban the use of neonicotinoids, but will enable further studies to be done to investigate the environmental effects of such chemicals. If these chemicals are not reviewed until 2018, as the EPA currently has them scheduled, it may be too late to save large amounts of bees and therefore certain parts of our food system. It is in the best interests of the country that the use of neonicotinoids is reviewed and amended to be more environmentally safe.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jon Sullivan via Wikimedia Commons