Target: Gina McCarthy, Administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency
Goal: Commend restrictions on harmful bee-killing pesticides.
After a long wait, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally agreed to restrict the manufacture and use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been linked to bee deaths. Restrictions from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have already been issued for these harmful pesticides—though the FWS has yet to enforce its new rules—Oregon state has banned their use on public lands, and in 2013 the European Union issued a temporary moratorium on the use of neonicotinoids until more research about the pesticides’ environmental effects could be conducted. A previous ForceChange petition called for the EPA to act against these harmful pesticides, and thanks to the efforts of conservationists and environmental groups the agency has finally heeded the call to protect our pollinators.
Dangerous pesticides are not the only culprit in the dramatic loss of the planet’s pollinators, but they are one of the easiest to stop. Habitat loss, disease and neonicotinoid pesticides have been cited as the three major bee killers by researchers, and a 2014 Harvard study claims that neonicotinoid use is the main factor responsible for the increasingly common instance of colony collapse disorder (CCD). According to the Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, CCD is a mysterious syndrome in which a bee hive is found with no adult bees or bee bodies, but with immature bees, a live queen and honey still inside.
In the Harvard study, control hives were researched beside hives exposed to the pesticides. The hives exposed to the chemicals suffered from CCD, ostensibly due to a failure to winterize as a result of exposure, while all but one of the control hives survived the winter intact and returned healthy in the spring. The study helps to prove conclusively what many have suspected for some time, and is helping lead to more comprehensive restrictions against bee-killing chemicals.
Support the EPA’s stance against the unrestricted use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
Dear Ms. McCarthy,
Neonicotinoid pesticides have been proven to negatively affect honey bee hives by contributing to CCD. Not only is the use of such dangerous pesticides an egregious conservation violation, but the unchecked decline of the world’s pollinators threatens a $30 billion agricultural industry in the U.S.
Thanks to the EPA’s recently announced restrictions, conservationists and environmentalists may have cause to hope for revived, growing and increasingly healthy hives in the future. A number of letters from the EPA to registrants of such pesticides intended for outdoor use explain that most applications for neonicotinoids will not be renewed until the pesticide can be deemed safe for pollinators and the environment. The letters also warn of future restrictions on the expansion of similar pesticides.
I support and applaud the EPA’s decision to put the health of important pollinators first.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: dni777 via Flickr