Representatives Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts introduced the Saving America’s Pollinators Act. The legislation is designed to protect the health of honey bees and other critical pollinators. Estimates are that the U.S. lost one-third of honeybee colonies between 2016 and 2017, with similar losses occurring in previous years.
To help bring a halt to the trend, the legislation suspends the use of bee-toxic insecticides (neonicotinoids), which have been linked to the declining population of pollinators. It also would require the Environmental Protection Agency to do a thorough evaluation to make sure using these insecticides is not adversely affecting pollinator populations. Blumenauer says, “A healthy food system depends on healthy pollinators. To keep the status quo is like flying blind. We shouldn’t be using these insecticides when we don’t know for sure how they’re affecting pollinators. The EPA has a responsibility to get to the bottom of this in order to protect our pollinators.”
McGovern says that protecting pollinators is essential to the sustainability of our nation’s food supply. Studies estimate that one of every three bites of food Americans eat is from a crop pollinated by bees.