Economics for the Earth Blog

White House set to unveil initiative to protect pollinators

Posted Jun. 16, 2014 / Posted by: Kate Colwell

WASHINGTON, D.C. — During National Pollinator Week (June 16-22), the White House is expected to announce an initiative to protect pollinators in light of recent population declines, particularly among bees. Exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides has been identified as one of the key contributors to significant and unsustainable bee losses.

The EU banned the three most widely used neonicotinoids based on a strong body of scientific evidence that the pesticides can kill bees outright and make them more vulnerable to pests, pathogens and other stressors. However these pesticides are still widely used in the U.S., despite their contribution to pollinator losses that threaten vital food crops and ecosystems.

Friends of the Earth and allies submitted policy recommendations to the White House for its initiative, urging decisive action to protect pollinators from neonicotinoid pesticides. More than 200,000 Americans have signed petitions calling on the First Lady to ban bee-killing pesticides from the White House grounds, and to urge the EPA and Congress to take swift action to protect bees.

Friends of the Earth makes the following experts available for immediate comment:

Lisa Archer, Director, food and technology program, Friends of the Earth, (510) 978-3145, larcher@foe.org. Lisa Archer works to ensure food, consumer products and emerging technologies are safe for people and the environment. For more than a decade, she has developed and led successful corporate accountability, markets and legislative campaigns focused on environmental health and justice. Lisa has been quoted in numerous national media outlets and is a frequent broadcast news contributor. She leads Friends of the Earth’s BeeAction.org campaign.

Susan Kegley, PhD, Pesticide Research Institute, (510) 705-1874, skegley@pesticideresearch.com. Susan Kegley is the lead author of the 2013 Gardeners Beware report. Dr. Kegley has expertise in environmental, organic, inorganic and analytical chemistry, with an emphasis on pesticides and heavy metals and their fate and transport in the environment. She has extensive experience in toxicology and risk assessment, policy analysis, legal consulting, sampling and analytical methods, data analysis and data management and technical writing for both professional and non-technical audiences.

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Contacts:
EA Dyson, 202-222-0730, edyson@foe.org
Kate Colwell, 202-222-0744, kcolwell@foe.org

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