Earlier this week, as a result of a legal settlement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cancelled 12 bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticide products.
Steve Blackledge, conservation program director for Environment America, issued the following statement in light of the announcement:
“We wholeheartedly commend the Center for Food Safety for bringing this litigation, which led to this important change. Looking forward, a key element to this settlement is that the EPA will now be required to examine the effects of the entire neonic class on endangered species.
“This is so essential because bees are struggling, and neonics are seriously endangering the entire national bee population. Tragically, even with this announcement, there are still too many forms of this insecticide class available.
“With that in mind, we must remember that states remain one of our best hopes for addressing the problem. Connecticut and Maryland have already banned the sale of neonics to consumers. But we still need other states to prohibit the most common and problematic uses of neonics, starting with the sale of neonics to everyday consumers and the practice of coating agriculture seeds, which needlessly expose bees and other wildlife to these chemicals.
“Until that occurs, we have not gotten serious enough about addressing bee die-offs. Just 100 crops provide 90 percent of the world’s food, and we rely on bees to pollinate 71 of them. No bees means no food. No one wants that, and we shouldn’t tolerate the continued spread of neonics.”
Environment America is a national network with affiliates in 29 states. Our staff and members work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment. Environment America is part of The Public Interest Network, which runs organizations committed to our vision of a better world, a set of core values, and a strategic approach to getting things done.