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Friends of the Earth responds to White House pollinator initiative

Posted Jun. 20, 2014 / Posted by: Kate Colwell

Washington, D.C. – President Obama issued a memorandum directing U.S. government agencies to take additional measures to protect pollinators by establishing a new Pollinator Health Task Force. This task force will conduct research on pollinator declines and create a public education campaign to teach people ways they can help pollinators.

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated an additional $8 million, to the $3 million already allocated, for a Conservation Reserve Program. This program will encourage farmers and ranchers in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and North and South Dakota to cultivate new habitats for honey bee populations.

Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica issued the following statement in response to the announcement:

President Obama’s announcement on protecting pollinators does not go far enough. Pollinators are in crisis and the administration has the ability to take immediate action on a key contributing factor, neonicotinoid pesticides.

The administration should prevent the release and use of these toxic pesticides until determined safe. This follows the lead of the European Union, which already placed a two year moratorium on three of the most widely used neonicotinoids.

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Communications Contact: Kate Colwell, 202-222-0744, kcolwell@foe.org

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