The Herman Trend Alert
November 18, 2015
Huge Victory for Bees and What It Means
Bees are responsible for one-third of the planet's food sources. What that means is that one out of three of bites of food you eat is dependent on bees. With an annual value of pollination services worldwide estimated at over $125 billion, in the United States alone, pollination contributes $20 to $30 billion in agricultural production annually. Few realize the critical situation posed by the disappearance of about one-third of the bee population.
A Growing Body of Evidence
A growing body of independent science links a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids (neonics) to declining bee populations, both alone and in combination with other factors like disease and malnutrition. Twenty-nine independent scientists conducted a global review of 800 independent studies and found overwhelming evidence of pesticides linked to bee declines.
Kudos to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Starting at the beginning of the story, last year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the use of a chemical neonicotinoid insecticide toxic to bees, called "sulfoxaflor". Not long ago, in San Francisco, California, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the EPA's ruling; the court decided that the EPA had violated federal law when it approved sulfoxaflor without having reliable studies "regarding the impact that the insecticide would have on honeybee colonies".
The Honey Bee industry had a White Knight
Representing a coalition of commercial beekeeping trade groups, as well as individual commercial beekeepers, Earthjustice convinced the Court to vacate EPA's approval. That meant (and means) that sulfoxaflor may not be used in the US, unless and until, the EPA is given the the proof, regarding the effects of the chemical on honeybees and re-approves the insecticide. This ruling is excellent news "for bees, beekeepers, and for all of us who enjoy the healthy fruits, nuts, and vegetables that rely on bees for pollination".
Norway's Bee Highway
'According to a study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Europe's wild bee population is in dramatic decline, with nearly one in 10 species facing the threat of extinction. And another 5.2 percent of bee species are likely to be threatened in the near future.
In the face of these decline, Norwegian bees will soon have their own "bee highway" in Oslo, to give them food, shelter, and safe passage through the city. Now, bee hives are appearing in backyards, on rooftops, and on the terraces of companies and private citizens. This corridor is the first of its kind, and the local community is supporting it.
Two Expectations Emerge
On behalf of the planet and all of its inhabitants, large and small, special thanks to Earthjustice. Because of its actions, the EPA will revise its assessment process and hopefully, will be more rigorous in its review of other pesticides. First, powered by the Clean Food Movement*, we expect that this decision will be the first of many protecting the environment. Second, Norway's Bee Highway is a thoughtful and elegant solution to help repopulate bees and protect their vulnerable ecosystem. This corridor concept is the first of many we expect to see throughout the developed world.
* First named by Futurist Gerald Cilente to denote the trend of consumers' wanting pesticide-fee, GMO-free, and antibiotic-free food.
Special thanks to Mike Adams, Health Ranger for raising our consciousness to this important issue.
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