Washington Examiner By Paul Bedard February 5, 2015
Several top environmental groups have joined with the honey bee industry to urgently demand that President Obama ban a pesticide many blame for the downfall of the world’s No. 1 food pollinator before it is too late.
Fearing that Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is delaying action, the groups took the unusual step to press Obama directly in a letter that said inaction could jeopardize food supplies.
“We hope that you will prioritize action on this issue of vital importance to our food system, economy and environment and make saving bees a key piece of your legacy as president,” said the letter provided to Secrets.
It was signed by Trip Van Noppen, president of Earthjustice; Peter Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth U.S., and nine other green CEOs.
At issue is a new pesticide called “neonicotinoid.” Many in the bee industry blame them for the decade-long die-off of honey bees.
“If current rates of bee die-offs continue,” the letter says, “it is unlikely that the beekeeping industry will survive EPA’s delayed timeline, putting our agricultural industry and our food supply at serious risk.”
Obama has asked EPA to move on the issue, but the industry suspects the agency will call for more studies and delays in acting on the pesticide already banned in some countries.
Honey bee pollination is responsible for some $20 billion to the U.S. economy, and responsible for pollinating the nation’s nuts, fruits and veggies. But a mysterious killer has been wiping millions of hives and the pesticide is the top target of blame.