On June 23, 2021, Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) reintroduced the Saving America’s Pollinators Act. The legislation would have three main components.
- First, it would introduce a pollinator protection board consisting of scientists, beekeepers, farmers, and conservationists. The board would evaluate the impact of pesticides on pollinators and monitor the status of native pollinator populations.
- Second, it would implement monitoring of native bee populations.
- Third, it would suspend the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, or “neonics,” unless and until experts deemed them safe to use.
Protecting pollinators is essential to food stability, not to mention the global economy. The Congressional Research Service has estimated that bees and other insects contribute $190 billion of value to the global food system each year.
But neonics and other pesticides may reduce pollinators’ ability to migrate and even diminish overall bird and bee populations. According to the University of Massachusetts (UMASS), which summarized recent research on pollinators and pesticides, neonics are insect neurotoxins. The UMASS report explained:
“They are primarily systemic, which means that the active ingredient may be absorbed by the roots and move through the entire plant including pollen and nectar. There is evidence that foraging bees may receive sublethal doses in pollen and nectar which may make bees more vulnerable to other stressors (such as diseases), or may combine with exposure to other pesticides that enhance toxicity.”
In May of 2021, the EU Court of Justice upheld a ban on neonicotinoids after an eight-year legal struggle. The U.S. should follow suit and take additional measures to protect pollinators. Sign this petition to support the new legislation.
To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:
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