Help EPA Focus on What's at Stake

PAN North America (Pesticide Action Network) June 19, 2012

It’s pollinator week, a made-up holiday focusing on a very real problem: bees are still dying off en masse, and without them, we’re in trouble. This week and next, EPA is deciding just how “real” a threat pesticides pose to our pollinators. We need to help them focus on what’s really at stake.

Bee die-offs are an emergency. Period. » In March, PAN joined partners and beekeepers from around the country in filing a legal petition with EPA, calling on the agency to make use of its emergency powers to protect bees from Bayer's clothianidin.

Sources tell us that in the next two weeks, EPA will decide whether or not bees dying off at unprecedented rates constitutes an “imminent hazard.” Since the wholesale decline of bees and other pollinators is most certainly an imminent hazard requiring emergency intervention, we want to be sure that EPA knows we're watching.

“Imminent hazard” is bureaucracy-speak from our notoriously weak federal pesticide law (FIFRA). It sets the condition under which EPA can actually take swift action to cancel the registration of a pesticide. They very rarely do so in part because they know the pesticide industry will keep that decision tied up in court. In other words, industry sues EPA when the agency does its job.

EPA, use your power to protect bees now» If bees dying off en masse isn’t an “imminent hazard” and an emergency, we don’t know what is.

Thank you for taking action.

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