Obama administration delays critical action to protect bees until at least 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, at the 14th annual North American Pollinator Protection Campaign International Conference, the White House announced a several month delay in the release of its pollinator report. The Presidential Memorandum, issued by President Obama in June 2014, required this report and charged the EPA with assessing the effects of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bees and other pollinators within 180 days. But the EPA announced today that it would not release a regulatory decision on neonicotinoids before 2016.
In addition, the White House announced today that some agencies are creating guidelines for pollinator-friendly federal lands: the Council on Environmental Quality released a guidance and the General Services Administration is finalizing its guidance.
Friends of the Earth’s Food futures campaigner Tiffany Finck-Haynes issued the following statement in response to the announcement:
The science is clear that the bees pollinating two-thirds of our food crops are at a crisis point and further delays in protecting them puts our farmers, beekeepers and food supply at risk.
Over the past eight years, beekeepers have lost an average of 30 percent of their hives, and many beekeepers are leaving the industry entirely. The weight of the science tells us that we must take immediate action to suspend systemic bee-killing pesticides before the spring planting season begins. The bees can’t wait, and neither should President Obama.