Save Our Bees: Tell Congress to Support the Saving America's Pollinators Act
(Photo: Moment Open/Getty Images)
(Photo: Moment Open/Getty Images)
Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives.
Center for Food Safety is a non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organization working to protect human health and the environment.
Honeybees and other pollinators are suffering serious declines. Thankfully, a bill in Congress aims to protect them from the use of harmful pesticides. Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Earl Blumenauer, D.-Ore., have introduced the Saving America's Pollinators Act (H.R. 2692), calling for the suspension of neonicotinoids, a class of systemic pesticides that are killing bees, until a full review of scientific evidence indicates they are safe and a field study demonstrates they have no damaging sub-lethal effects on pollinators.
The United States is lagging behind many other countries when it comes to the protection of pollinators. On Dec. 2, 2013, the European Union officially began its two-year moratorium on three of the worst neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics” for short) to protect bees and other pollinators. Even though the E.U. has taken the much needed step of curbing the use of neonics, U.S. regulatory agencies have yet to step up to the plate and take the actions needed to protect pollinators.
Scientists have indicated that neonics are a key contributing factor to dramatic bee die-offs and poor pollinator health. Neonics are now the most widely used insecticides in the world, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency won't even consider taking action until after its review is complete in 2018. Meanwhile bees continue dying off in mass numbers, with beekeepers reporting losses of between 40 percent and 70 percent last year.
We need to take swift action by suspending the use of these chemicals across the U.S. until proved safe for our critical pollinators. The Saving America's Pollinators Act will do just that—it’ll give our bees the fighting chance they need. Tell your representative to support the Saving America's Pollinators Act and protect our bees!
To: U.S. House of Representatives
I am writing to urge your support of the Saving America's Pollinators Act (H.R. 2692). Bees and other pollinators are declining at alarming rates, and the science continues to link their losses to the use of systemic pesticides called neonicotinoids. The U.S. managed honeybee colonies are in particular trouble as a result of their use, and the consequences for agriculture and the United States' food system are dire.
Managed honeybees and other native species pollinate an estimated $20 billion to $30 billion worth of American crops annually. In fact, of the 100 crops that provide 90 percent of the world's food, more than 70 are pollinated by bees. In North America, honeybees pollinate nearly 95 kinds of fruits, such as almonds, avocados, cranberries, and apples. That’s why it’s critical that we address the record-high declines of bees. It's time to act.
Neonicotinoids are the most widely used insecticides in the world, and their use has been repeatedly shown to have lethal and sub-lethal effects on bees, other pollinators, and beneficial insects. In December 2013, the European Union began implementing a two-year moratorium on three of the most toxic neonics to protect pollinators—we need to take similar, swift action in the United States.
Please help protect bees and other important pollinators by supporting H.R. 2692, the Saving America's Pollinators Act.
[Your name here]
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