New film on why bees are dying
GM crops and honey bee research
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Honeybees are dying and our food supply is in danger
Is Nicotine Bees the new Silent Spring?
Sierra Club, November 11 20009
Sierra Club welcomes the release of Nicotine Bees, a new documentary that provides an excellent synopsis of the loss of honeybees. Producers Kevin Hansen and Krista Keenan did a superb job researching, interviewing and splicing together an extraordinary story.
One out of every three bites of food that we consume is due to the work of honeybees, serving as crucial pollinators. Yet the honeybee population has been significantly dwindling over the past few years, a phenomena known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
At issue are the nicotinyl insecticides (also known as neonicotinoids) being used in a new way - as seed coatings. For years, farmers have been spraying neonicotinoids onto their crops to stop insect infestation. Now agribusiness corporations have acquired patents to coat their proprietary corn seeds with these neonicotinoids.
Neil Carman, Ph.D., scientific advisor for the Sierra Club explains, "These neonicotinoid coatings are extremely persistent. They enter the plant and are present in pollen and on droplets of water on leaves."
In light of this mounting evidence, the Sierra Club has been urging the EPA to suspend approvals of these chemical treatments to protect our bees and crops, until independent scientists verify safety. Yet the EPA has refused action.
David Hackenberg, former president of the American Beekeeping Federation, has also been urging the U.S. regulatory agencies to suspend these seed treatments. "Look at what's time based. The massive bee decimation started when regulatory agencies rubber stamped the use of neonicotinoid spraying and coating," he said.
"Sierra Club joins the concern of beekeepers," said Laurel Hopwood, chairperson for Sierra Club's Genetic Engineering Action Team. "It's unfortunate that regulatory agencies are using double speak. They claim to protect our food supply - yet they continue to approve seed coatings without the proper studies."
Hopwood calls on every family to view Nicotine Bees and to take action. "The loss of honeybees will leave a huge void in the kitchens of the American people and an estimated loss of 14 billion dollars to farmers," said Hopwood. "We expect the EPA to do their job."
To view our action, visit http://www.sierraclub.org/biotech/whatsnew/whatsnew_2009-11-10.asp
To purchase the video or request a screening, see http://NicotineBees.com
Laurel Hopwood, Sierra Club 216-371-9779
Neil Carman, Ph.D. 512-472-1767