Want to eat? Save the honeybee!
by Laurel Hopwood, Chair, Sierra Club Genetic Engineering Action Team.

One out of every three bites of food we consume is due to the work of the honeybee. This crucial pollinator is greatly threatened by the recently identified Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), and, as a result, our food supply may be severely impacted. Since 2005 this syndrome has annually wiped out more than 30% of all honeybees!

In light of the mounting evidence that new seed chemical coatings are deadly to bees, Sierra Club has been urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the use of these specific chemical treatments in order to protect bees and crops until more study can be done.

At issue are the nicotinyl insecticides (also known as neonicotinoids). These insecticides are being used in a new way—as seed coatings. For years, farmers have been spraying neonicotinoids onto their crops to stop insect infestation. Now huge agribusiness corporations have acquired patents to coat their proprietary corn seeds with these neonicotinoids. These “neonics” are extremely persistent. They enter the plant and are present in pollen and on droplets of water on leaves. Federal agencies in France, Germany and Italy have already taken responsible regulatory actions to suspend the use of these pesticides based on the best available scientific evidence. Strikingly, in Italy, honeybee populations immediately rebounded when these chemicals were suspended!

We urge Sierra Club members and the American public to view the outstanding documentary entitled Nicotine Bees. Producer Kevin Hansen did a superb job researching, interviewing and splicing together an extraordinary story on the CCD problem. We suggest showing the 45-minute film at meetings, home parties, classrooms, and community events.

We are calling Nicotine Bees the new Silent Spring. Without a doubt, Nicotine Bees should be in every home, school, and library! To purchase the video, visit http://NicotineBees.com You are also encouraged to take action. Contact EPA’s Steve Owens at owens.steve@epa.gov to request a suspension of the neonicotinoid seed coatings until independent scientists verify safety.

For more information, please contact me at lhopwood@roadrunner.com