[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (2)
    • Announcements (586)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (26)
    • Antimicrobial (8)
    • Aquaculture (27)
    • Aquatic Organisms (22)
    • Bats (3)
    • Beneficials (40)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (19)
    • Biomonitoring (34)
    • Birds (14)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (1)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (27)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (8)
    • Children (54)
    • Children/Schools (228)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate Change (53)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (1)
    • contamination (111)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (10)
    • Drift (2)
    • Drinking Water (2)
    • Emergency Exemption (2)
    • Environmental Justice (135)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (283)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (10)
    • Farmworkers (152)
    • fish (6)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungicides (12)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (11)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (2)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (8)
    • Holidays (29)
    • Household Use (5)
    • Indigenous People (1)
    • Infectious Disease (2)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (62)
    • International (345)
    • Invasive Species (30)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (214)
    • Litigation (316)
    • Livestock (5)
    • Metabolites (2)
    • Microbiata (10)
    • Microbiome (9)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Occupational Health (2)
    • Pesticide Drift (144)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (2)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (2)
    • Pesticide Regulation (707)
    • Pesticide Residues (160)
    • Pets (25)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Poisoning (4)
    • Preemption (25)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (1)
    • Resistance (97)
    • Rodenticide (26)
    • Seeds (3)
    • synergistic effects (7)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (8)
    • Take Action (504)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (6)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (387)
    • Women’s Health (5)
    • Wood Preservatives (25)
    • World Health Organization (4)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

24
Jun

Saving America’s Pollinators Act Reintroduced, Advocates Urge Congressional Action to Stop Pollinator Decline

(Beyond Pesticides, June 24, 2021) This Pollinator Week 2021, U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Jim McGovern (D-MA) are reintroducing the Saving America’s Pollinators Act (SAPA) in an effort to reverse ongoing declines in wild and managed pollinators. SAPA uses the latest scientific research and perspectives to ensure that pollinators are protected. The bill suspends the use of neonicotinoids and other pesticides harmful to bees and other pollinators until an independent board of experts determine that they are safe to use, based on strong scientific assessment.

“Without our world’s pollinators, the world would be a very different place. These bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other creatures are essential elements of our food system. Losing them means we risk losing the very food we put on our table,” said Rep. Blumenauer. “We must use every tool at our disposal to provide pollinators with much-needed relief from bee-toxic pesticides and monitor their populations to ensure their health and survival.” 

Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides; once applied to a seed or sprayed on a plant they make their way into the pollen, nectar and dew droplets that plants produce and pollinators feed upon. Exposure impairs pollinator navigation, foraging, and learning behavior, and also suppresses their immune system, making them more susceptible to disease and pathogens like the varroa mite.  

The last decade saw American beekeepers lose over 30% of their hives annually. And wild pollinators are experiencing declines that threaten their extinction. The iconic American Bumblebee has lost 89% of its population over the last 20 years. Populations of eastern monarchs have declined by 80% since the 1990s. This past year, citizens scientists participating in the western monarch count found a scant 2,000 butterflies. This is down from roughly 1.2 million monarchs in the 1990s, 300,000 in 2016, and 30,000 in 2019. All of these impacts have been associated with the use of toxic pesticides in peer-reviewed scientific studies.

The harmful effects of neonicotinoids and other pollinator-toxic pesticides are not siloed in the environment, however. Declines in pollinator populations work their way up and down the food chain, from the plants that depend upon pollination, to the people that rely on healthy, nutrient dense food pollination provides. Pollination services are valued at $125 billion globally, and pollinators are responsible for one in three bites of food, including nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Past research has found that the loss of pollination services would have a devastating impact on global nutritional health, with women and children most affected. Already in the United States, many communities lack access to healthy fruits and vegetables –allowing the pollinator crisis to continue unabated is likely to exacerbate these problems by increasing prices on important staples.

Neonicotinoids also harm people directly. In public parks and playing fields, these are often the chemicals of choice to manage grub problems on turf, despite the availability of alternative methods.  The latest research links neonicotinoids to nervous system toxicity, reproductive damage, and birth defects. In particular, reviews have found links to birth defects of the heart and brain, and the development of finger tremors. Neonicotinoids appear to disproportionately affect the male reproductive system, and animal studies have found cause for concern – from decreased testosterone levels to abnormal and low sperm count (see NRDC for more on the harms of neonics to human health). As reported by the Black Institute, pesticides like glyphosate are disproportionately sprayed in black and brown communities, where public parks are often the only green space available for family picnics and outings.

The Saving America’s Pollinators Act is not limited in its ability to save America’s pollinators. SAPA would help people, who depend on pollination services for healthy food. SAPA would help underserved communities by eliminating unnecessary exposure to pesticides in public green spaces. SAPA would stop the poisoning of farmworkers who work on the farms that grow the plants that bees and insects pollinate. SAPA would also protect the broader web of life that is being devastated by the use of systemic insecticides. According to the Task Force on Systemic Insecticides, a group consisting of 242 scientists from across the world, “the balance of evidence strongly suggests that these chemicals [neonicotinoids] are harming beneficial insects and contributing to the current massive loss of global biodiversity.”

Beneficial soil dwelling insects, benthic aquatic insects, and grain-eating vertebrates like songbirds are in danger from neonicotinoid use. Neonicotinoid concentrations detected in aquatic environments present hazards to aquatic invertebrates and the ecosystems they support. Neonics adversely affects shrimp and oyster health, decreasing their nutritional value.

There is also evidence of adverse effects harming bird populations. A single corn kernel coated with a neonicotinoid is toxic enough to kill a songbird. Studies conducted in the wild find songbirds that feed on neonicotinoid-contaminated seeds during their migration route display reduced weigh delayed travel, and low rates of survival. The author of that study, ecotoxicologist Chrissy Morrisey, PhD, told Environmental Health News, “Our study shows that this is bigger than the bees — birds can also be harmed by modern neonicotinoid pesticides which should worry us all.” Data from the Netherlands has shown that the most severe bird population declines occurred in those areas where neonicotinoid pollution was highest. These data are alarming in the context of reports finding three billion birds (30% total) lost since 1970 in part due to pesticide use.

“Passing SAPA would reorient pesticide regulation towards the protection of pollinators and ecosystem health – an approach that the U,S. Environmental Protection Agency has long failed to adequately consider,” says Drew Toher, community resource and policy director at Beyond Pesticides.

Specifically, the Saving America’s Pollinators Act:

  • Establishes a Pollinator Protection Board (PPB), consisting of scientists, beekeepers, farmers, and conservationists that have no direct or indirect ties to pesticide companies, in order to evaluate pesticides for their toxicity to pollinators and pollinator habitat;
  • Cracks down on insecticides that are toxic to pollinators by canceling the registration of neonicotinoid pesticides or pesticides containing imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotefuran, acetamiprid, sulfoxaflor, flupyradifurone, or fipronil until they are properly reviewed by the Pollinator Protection Board; and
  • Implements a state-of-the-art monitoring network for native bees, ensuring that experts and the general public have up-to-date information on the status of native bee populations.

The newest bill language also updates the standard to which the PPB regulates toxic pesticides, making determinations on whether the pesticide presents an unacceptable hazard, based upon the potential to cause harm, including injury, illness, or damage to honey bees, and other pollinators, or pollinator habitat. This language would set pesticide regulation more in line with the precautionary approach taken by the European Union and other international bodies.

Advocates remain hopeful that the 2021 Congress will take long-awaited action on SAPA. Reach out to your federal elected officials today – call the Capital switchboard (202-224-3121) and request your Representative’s office, reach out to their office directly, or tweet or post to their social media accounts.

Help Beyond Pesticides keep up the pressure on all federal elected officials. In addition to Congressional Representatives, take action by urging the Biden Administration to establish a comprehensive strategy in the executive branch to protect pollinators. See here for additional actions you can take during Pollinator Week 2021, and stay tuned for more you can do to help institute long overdue protections for our nation’s imperiled pollinators.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Share

One Response to “Saving America’s Pollinators Act Reintroduced, Advocates Urge Congressional Action to Stop Pollinator Decline”

  1. 1
    Roger Lee Judson Says:

    ban all chemicals that kill bees and butterflys

Leave a Reply

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (2)
    • Announcements (586)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (26)
    • Antimicrobial (8)
    • Aquaculture (27)
    • Aquatic Organisms (22)
    • Bats (3)
    • Beneficials (40)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (19)
    • Biomonitoring (34)
    • Birds (14)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (1)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (27)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (8)
    • Children (54)
    • Children/Schools (228)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate Change (53)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (1)
    • contamination (111)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (10)
    • Drift (2)
    • Drinking Water (2)
    • Emergency Exemption (2)
    • Environmental Justice (135)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (283)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (10)
    • Farmworkers (152)
    • fish (6)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungicides (12)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (11)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (2)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (8)
    • Holidays (29)
    • Household Use (5)
    • Indigenous People (1)
    • Infectious Disease (2)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (62)
    • International (345)
    • Invasive Species (30)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (214)
    • Litigation (316)
    • Livestock (5)
    • Metabolites (2)
    • Microbiata (10)
    • Microbiome (9)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Occupational Health (2)
    • Pesticide Drift (144)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (2)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (2)
    • Pesticide Regulation (707)
    • Pesticide Residues (160)
    • Pets (25)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Poisoning (4)
    • Preemption (25)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (1)
    • Resistance (97)
    • Rodenticide (26)
    • Seeds (3)
    • synergistic effects (7)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (8)
    • Take Action (504)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (6)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (387)
    • Women’s Health (5)
    • Wood Preservatives (25)
    • World Health Organization (4)
  • Most Viewed Posts