Environmentalists Say White House Pollinator Health Task Force Protections Fall Short

Posted May 27, 2015

MP3 Interview with Peter Jenkins, attorney with the Center for Food Safety, conducted by Scott Harris


Years of scientific research has found that a widely used type of insecticide poses a threat on par with that of DDT, endangering the world’s ecosystems. An analysis based on 800 peer-reviewed reports released last year, titled the “Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Impact of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems,” focuses on the harmful effects of neonicotinoids to bees and other pollinators — as well as terrestrial invertebrates like earthworms.

As a phenomenon known as “colony collapse disorder,” focused attention on the alarming population decline of honey bees and other pollinators, the Obama administration established the White House Pollinator Health Task Force in June 2014. Now one year later the task force has released its strategy to address the threat to pollinators, including the threatened Monarch butterfly.

But many environmental groups have criticized the task force approach, stating that while the plan places needed attention on improving pollinator habitat, it ignores the immediate danger posed by neonicotinoid insecticides, which scientific research finds responsible for the dramatic population decline. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Peter Jenkins, an attorney with the Center for Food Safety, who explains why his group and its allies believe that the Obama administration’s plan to protect honey bees and other endangered pollinators is far too weak to accomplish its goals.

For more information, visit the Center for Food Safety at centerforfoodsafety.org.

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