This is outrageous: The U.S. Department of Agriculture just called on the EPA to *weaken* protections for bees.1
You read that right. Bees have been dying by the millions—bees that we depend on to pollinate the majority of our biggest food crops.2
But instead of leading the charge to protect the bees, which our entire agricultural economy depend on, the USDA is pressuring the EPA to repeal one of the few protections we’ve put in place.
After years of watching bees die off by the millions, last year President Obama established a special task force to come up with a plan to save the bees.3
And now we’re finally starting to see action, with the preservation of some bee habitats and some initial limits placed on the use of bee-killing pesticides. It’s not nearly enough—but it’s a start.
But it seems even these small steps are too much for the pesticide industry. They’ve lobbied against action to protect the bees from the start—and now the Department of Agriculture is taking their side.4
It’s time for Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to prioritize the protection of the pollinators that farmers rely on—not pesticide industry lobbyists.
Thanks for making it all possible.
Environment America Executive Director
1. Despite Evidence of Harm and Lack of Need, USDA Supports Unrestricted Use of Bee-Toxic Pesticides, Beyond Pesticides, September 16, 2015
2. Pesticides Behind Bee Collapse Should Be Banned, Natural Resources Defense Council, July 7, 2014
3. Announcing New Steps to Promote Pollinator Health, The White House, May 19, 2015
4. White House Task Force To Save Bees Stirs Hornet’s Nest, NPR, June 27, 2014