Tuesday, 11 January 2011

611,000 sign petition to ban bee-harming pesticide

Honey bee in flight w pollen bag. 
Campaign group AVAAZ today re-launched a petition to ban the use of Nicotinyl pesticides in USA and EU. Campaigners trying to save bees from extinction say Nicotinyl pesticide - produced by Bayer - is killing the bees. Over 611,000 people had signed the e-petition by 13.24pm (UK).

Bee colonies have suffered mysterious plagues in several countries over the past fifteen years, since the pesticides were introduced. Bees are important fertilisers of plants in the natural world, impacting biodiversity and food production.

Up to now the UK government says there are many factors that might cause bees to die - it might be something other than the pesticides, since been numbers have been in decline for some time. Today, I looked at reports cited by the bee campaigners. They present convincing evidence we should stop using these Nicotinyl pesticides until they are proven safe by independent research. In my opinion, when it comes to introducing toxic chemicals into the food chain, our policy on should be "safe not sorry", rather than "suck it and see"!

Below, I give links to websites where you can read the story yourself. Most convincing is the detailed overview given by the UK Soil Association. My summary of what the reports say: France, Italy and Germany have all banned Nicotinyl pesticides. They noticed large numbers of bees dying off after Nicotinyl started being used in 1994. They then undertook research which showed that bees were harmed by Nicotinyl. They then banned the Nicotinyl pesticide. After that the bee colony deaths stopped. This last report from Italy 2009.

Independently funded research has now started in the UK - fifteen years after the potentially poisonous pesticide started being used. The research is known as the Insect Pollenators Initiative (IPI) and was launched June 2009. How long will we wait for them to report? What if their findings are inconclusive?

AVAAZ is organising a petition calling for an immediate ban, link below. Entitled "Global Bee Emergency Act Now!!" it calls on USA and EU leaders: "To immediately ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides until and unless new independent scientific studies prove they are safe. The catastrophic demise of bee colonies could put our whole food chain in danger. If you act urgently with precaution now, we could save bees from extinction."


Bee decline could be down to chemical cocktail interfering with brains

Bee briefing

“Nicotine Bees" Population Restored With Neonicotinoids Ban

EPA memo reveals concern that pesticide causes bee deaths

AAVZ save the bees petition

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