Regulation

Food groups ask Obama to protect honeybees from pesticides

Food groups are urging the Obama administration to protect honeybees from dangerous pesticides.

In a letter to President Obama sent Tuesday, more than 100 environmentally friendly food companies, including Clif Bar, call for the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend the use of “bee-harming pesticides.”

{mosads}“We are very concerned about the continued and unsustainable losses of bees and other essential pollinators and what effects this will have on the bottom-line of our industries and economy,” American Sustainable Business Council CEO David Levine said in a statement.

Declining bee populations could take a $20 billion toll on the U.S. economy, the groups warn.

Bees play a major role in the food industry, they say, pollinating everything from fruits, vegetables, nuts, cotton and hay.

“Bees are essential to the production of one out of every three bites of food we eat,” they wrote in a letter to President Obama.

But honeybee populations have plummeted by 30 percent over the last eight years, the groups say.

The food groups blame this on what they say are dangerous pesticides known as neonicotinoids.

“Declining bee populations threaten the health of farming systems across the country,” Clif Bar CEO Kevin Cleary said in a statement. “As an organic food company, we rely on agriculture for our ingredients, and agriculture depends on pollinators. This is a clear case where the EPA can use its power to protect the environment and support businesses.”

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