[Editor’s note: Just as this week’s editorial, titled “Helping bees,” was going to press—calling for a moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides—news came that two members of the U.S. House of Representatives had introduced legislation on July 16 to suspend specific uses of certain neonicotinoids.
The bill, titled “Save America’s Pollinators Act of 2013,” was written by Representatives John Conyers (D, MI) and Earl Blumenauer (D, OR). It would require the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the registration of certain neonicotinoids—including imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotafuran, and some other neonicotinoids—until the administrator has determined (based on an evaluation of peer-reviewed scientific evidence and a completed field study) that these insecticides will not cause unreasonable adverse effects on pollinators.
The bill would also require the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, in coordination with the EPA administrator, to regularly monitor the health and population status of native (wild) bees and identify the scope and likely causes of unusual native bee mortality.
The “Saving America’s Pollinators Act of 2013” has been endorsed by the American Bird Conservancy, Beyond Pesticides, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Environmental Health, the Center for Food Safety, Earthjustice, Equal Exchange, Family Farm Defenders, Friends of the Earth, Food Democracy Now!, Food and Water Watch, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, the National Cooperative Grocers Association, the Organic Consumers Association, Pesticide Action Network North America, the Sierra Club, and the Xerces Society.
For readers who support the idea of such a moratorium and who are looking for concrete steps they can take in favor of this legislation contact your representative in Washington, DC and ask him/her to co-sponsor this legislation.]