Source: Mike Lewinski

The Cornucopia Institute joined nearly 200 other organizations in sending letters to the USDA, EPA, and Congress urging that they take action to protect pollinators from harmful pesticides and that they support sustainable agriculture. You can read the letter to the EPA below, including the specific action plan outlined for pollinator protection. The letters to the USDA and Congress can be found in this PDF.

June 22, 2016
Administrator Gina McCarthy
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC  20460

Dear Administrator McCarthy,

Research shows, bee toxic pesticides are a leading contributor to honey bee decline. On behalf of the undersigned beekeepers and organizations representing millions of members and supporters nationwide, we urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take the following specific actions to protect bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators as well as farmers, beekeepers, farmworkers, and consumers.

Bees and other pollinators are essential to our nation’s food supply, farming system, economy, and environment, but they are in great peril. A broad consensus of global scientists are gravely concerned about the world-wide dwindling of pollinators. Bees and other pollinators are responsible for one in every three bites of food we eat and provide nutritious and healthy food. Pollinators contribute significantly to the U.S. and world economy, accounting for nearly $30 billion to the U.S., and more than $217 billion to the world agricultural economies. The future of our diverse, healthy food is at risk, and we must reverse these pollinator declines.

The United States celebrates National Pollinator Week in June every year. This year, 2016, let us all work together to protect our food supply, support the pollination of our crops and wildlands, and strengthen the beekeeping industry, an integral member of the agricultural community.

We urge the EPA to take the following steps:

1. EPA needs to complete a cumulative assessment of the multiple stress factors that managed and native pollinators currently experience including tank mixes, fungicides, insect growth regulators, “other ingredients” in pesticide formulas, and their interactions with bee pests and pathogens.

2. Evaluate the efficacy of acaricides used for Varroa control, the synergisms with crop protection pesticides, and examine non-chemical Varroa controls options.

3. Evaluate systemic pesticide residue levels that may weaken pollinators in the soil prior to creating pollinator habitat. Research has shown the half-life of neonicotinoids remains toxic for up to three years depending upon the soil. Agricultural buffer/pollinator strips, and similar pollinator habitat needs to be protected from pesticide residues in the soil and water, as well as dust off onto plants in bloom or water sources from coated seed planting.

4. Revise the Tier II Risk Assessment: Field realistic, colony level assessments must be completed when assessing pesticides, including water quality, fungicides, herbicides, insect growth regulators, adjuvants, surfactants, degradates, metabolites, and “other ingredients” in the “formulated grade.”

5. Native pollinators must be included in colony level assessments. While there are unique concerns in assessing native pollinators, they are a valuable contributor to the agricultural economy.

6. Provide research funding of the symbiotic relationship between native pollinators and native plants sociologically and spiritually important to the 562 Tribes residing in the U.S.

7. Conduct research on bee attractive crops for the value of pollination, the value of crop pollination services, and the loss of crop yield when bees are killed.

8. Institute incident reporting of bee losses to include the sublethal effects upon bees; ensure the investigation is not retaliatory, but data collection driven; remove primacy of states that decline investigating bee kills that are under an arbitrary financial threshold. Trends of product use, as well as problem end users can be observed from the loss of one hive as well as the loss of 100 hives. All incident data should be reported to the EPA EIIS database.

9. Initiate prompt suspension based on an imminent hazard determination for systemic pesticides until the above assessments are completed.

10. Institute comprehensive organic and non-toxic based Best Management Practices to protect farmers, crop yields, and beekeepers from the impact of the prophylactic use of pesticides and coated seeds. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has been co-opted and prophylactic us of pesticides and coated seeds violates the true practice of IPM.

We support beekeepers, we value honey bees and native pollinators, and we need sustainable, affordable, nutritious food. We urge you to implement these steps to support pollinator health, maintain sustainable agriculture, and protect the American food supply.


Alliance for the Wild Rockies
American Bird Conservancy
American Grassfed Association
American Sustainable Business Council
Anacostia Watershed Society
Animals Are Sentient Beings
Appalachian Voices
As You Sow
Bee Love Sacramento
Bee Safe Boulder
Bee Safe Earth
Berkeley Food Institute
Berks Gas Truth
Beyond Pesticides
Black Warrior River Keeper
Blue Dasher Farm
Bold Visions Conservation
Borneo Project
Bus For Progress
California Peace and Freedom Party
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Cascade Girl Organization
CATA – El Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas
Catholic Rural Life
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Environmental Health
Center for Food Safety
Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger
Clean Air Watch
Coastal Monmouth Democrats
Collective Eye, Inc
Colorado Pesticide Reform Coalition
Community Alliance for Global Justice
Cottingham Farm, LLC
Cottonwood Environmental Law Center
DC Environmental Network
Dogwood Alliance
Eco-Justice Ministries
Ecological Farming Association
Endangered Habitats League
Endangered Species Coalition
Environment America
Environment Arizona
Environment California
Environment Colorado
Environment Connecticut
Environment Florida
Environment Georgia
Environment Illinois
Environment Iowa
Environment Maine
Environment Maryland
Environment Massachusetts
Environment Michigan
Environment Minnesota
Environment Missouri
Environment Montana
Environment Nevada
Environment New Hampshire
Environment New Jersey
Environment New Mexico
Environment New York
Environment North Carolina
Environment Ohio
Environment Oregon
Environment Rhode Island
Environment Texas
Environment Virginia
Environment Washington
Environmental Defenders of McHenry County
Environmental Protection Information Center
Experimental Farm Network
Family Farm Defenders
Farmworker Justice
Friends of Blackwater
Friends of the Earth
Fair World Project
Farmworker Association of Florida
Food Democracy Now!
Food Chain Workers Alliance
Food Craft Institute
Food First
Food for Maine’s Future
Food & Water Watch
Gap Mountain Goats
Georgia ForestWatch
Gifford Pinchot Task Force
GMO Free Florida
Go Green Northbrook
Grassroots International
Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Green America
Growing Power, Inc.
Health Care Without Harm
Humming for Bees
Illinois Right to Know GMO
Illinois Stewardship Alliance
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
International Foundation for Organic Agriculture (IFOAM)
Iowa Farmers Union
Iowa Organic Association
Just Food
Kalmiopsis Audubon Society
Kansas Rural Center
Label GMOs Sonoma County
Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy, Columbia University
Los Padres Forest Watch
Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association
Mangrove Action Project
Maryland Conservation Council
Maryland League of Conservation Voters
Maryland Ornithological Society
Maryland Pesticide Education Network
Massachusetts Right to Know GMO
MOM’s Organic Market
National Family Farm Coalition
National Organic Coalition
NH Right to Know GMO
Noah’s Notes
North Branch Land Trust
North County Watch
Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance
Northeast Organic Farm Association
Northern New Jersey Chapter of National Organization for Women
Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides
Oasis Earth
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Olympia Beekeepers Association
Our Family Farms
Oregonians for Safe Farms and Families
Oregon Honey Festival
Organic Seed Alliance
Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association
Other Worlds
PCC Natural Markets
Pesticide Action Network North America
Penn Environment
Planting Seeds of Hope
Plymouth County Beekeepers Association
Pollinate Minnesota
Pollinator Friendly Alliance
Pollinator Project Rogue Valley
Pollinator Revival
Powder River Basin Resource Council
Progress Ohio
Rachel Carson Council
Rainforest Relief
Raptors are the Solution
Raritan Headwaters Association
Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center
Roots Action
Rural Vermont
Save the Manatee Club
Save Our Sky Bluewaters
Seeds and Songs Bakery
Sierra Club North Carolina
Small Planet Institute
South Florida Wildlands Association
Sustainable Arizona
Texas Food Policy Group
The Blue Heron Nature Preserve
The Cornucopia Institute
The Ecology Center
The Lands Council
The Organic and Non -GMO Report
The Safina Center
Toxics Action Center
Turning Green
Tri -City Ecology Center
Trillium Assets Management
Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment
Veda Stram –
Vilicus Farms
War Is A Crime
Washtenaw Food Policy Council
Wild Farm Alliance
Wilderness Watch
Wisconsin Environment
Worcester County Beekeeper Association
York County Beekeepers Association

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