Popcorn companies blamed for bee deaths

Popcorn companies blamed for bee deaths
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Popcorn manufacturers are coming under fire from food activists for using bee-killing pesticides in their products. 

The Center for Food Safety is calling on two of the largest popcorn manufacturers, Pop Secret and Pop Weaver, to phase out the use of corn seeds that are grown with neonicotinoid insecticides, which they say are harmful to bees.

“Bees are dying at alarming rates, and scientists have identified neonicotinoids as a key factor in poor pollinator health,” said Larissa Walker, pollinator program director at the Center for Food Safety. "We’re asking these companies to stand as leaders in their industry and help save these incredibly important species. Without bees, our agricultural economy would take a major hit.

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“As two of the largest popcorn brands in the U.S., Pop Secret and Pop Weaver can make a real impact by phasing out their use of neonic-coated seeds,” she added.

The Center for Food Safety is launching an advertising campaign to pressure these companies into phasing out the use of these bee-killing pesticides.

It says neonicotinoids are at least partially responsible for the decline in the bee population around the world. They are commonly used on corn fields in the U.S.

"Neonicotinoids can last in the environment for several years after application and exposure to these chemicals threatens a wide range of animals, including bees, butterflies, birds, and marine species,” according to the Center for Food Safety.