White House launches plan to protect bees | Pesticide Action Network
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White House launches plan to protect bees

For Immediate Release:  June 20, 2014

Contact: Paul Towers, 916-216-1082, ptowers@panna.org

White House launches plan to protect bees

Today, President Obama issued a memorandum announcing the creation of a federal strategy to "promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators." Coming at the tail end of Pollinator Week, this announcement heralds the creation of an inter-agency Pollinator Health Task Force to address challenges contributing to declining pollinator populations. In particular, it calls on EPA to assess the impacts of bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides within 180 days.

PAN and a dozen farming, beekeeping, food and environmental organizations sent a letter to the White House in May, urging action to protect bees, citing the growing declines of bee populations and their essential role in pollination services, honey production, and the agricultural economy.

Paul Towers, spokesperson for Pesticide Action Network released the following statement:

“We applaud President Obama for elevating the issue of pollinator health and making it a national priority. We remain cautiously optimistic that the new task force and strategic focus will bring about the protections that bees and other pollinators need, supporting beekeepers, rural communities and the entire food system. Greater support for pollinator forage, and a commitment to expediently solving dramatic bee declines, is essential.

The proposed task force has its work cut out for it and should move quickly to address the issue of pesticides, a key factor in bee declines. The weight of scientific evidence points to the need for greater action to restrict bee-harming pesticides and fix the broken regulatory system that allows these pesticides to be brought to — and remain on — the market.”