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CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS STATEMENT

For immediate release:
Monday, August 19, 2013
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org
Maureen Dolan Murphy, 516-390-7150, mmurphy@citizenscampaign.org

EPA MAKES IMPORTANT CHANGES TO PROTECT DECLINING BEE POPULATIONS PESTICIDES OF CONCERN TARGETED FOR LABELING CHANGES BY EPA

Efforts to Protect Bees & other Pollinators will Protect Public Health

Farmingdale, NY – Environmentalists are applauding the US EPA’s announcement that they will be changing labels for certain pesticides to protect pollinators including bees. Bee populations are dramatically declining in the United States from Colony Collapse Disorder, and one of the primary culprits is the use of pesticides, known as neonicontinoids. CCE's Executive Director, Adrienne Esposito, released the following statement in response to the EPA's announcement:

"This is a smart, proactive decision by the US EPA to take steps to protect declining bee populations. Changing the application label of these toxic pesticides is a safety precaution that will help prevent these pesticides from being sprayed in the presence of bees. Since 2005, bees have been experiencing serious declines in populations. In the US, as many as half of the commercial hives died in 2012.

“The pesticides targeted by this decision are those containing neonicotinoids, including imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. These pesticides have been linked to bee deaths and thus have recently been banned by the European Union. They threaten our environment, health, and wildlife. On Long Island, imidacloprid is one of the top 3 most detected pesticides in groundwater. According to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), from 2001 to 2010, imidacloprid was detected 890 times at 179 locations in Long Island's groundwater. CCE has called on the NYS DEC to ban this pesticide from use on Long Island.

“The role of bees cannot be undervalued in our production of food and our ecosystems. Fewer bees results in smaller harvests and higher food prices. Bees contribute to approximately 80% of insect pollination. In fact, a Cornell University study estimates that honeybees annually pollinate more than $14 billion worth of seeds and crops in the United States. Widespread declines of pollinators have serious consequences for both agricultural production and the global ecosystem. Without pollinators we would not be able to grow food. They also serve as important indicators of how toxins affect and are transported throughout our environment.

"The EPA needs to continue researching ways to protect our bees, and take pre-emptive steps to protect human health and our environment from other toxic pesticides."

For more information on CCE's pesticide work please visit: http://www.citizenscampaign.org/campaigns/pesticides.asp
http://www.citizenscampaign.org/campaigns/long-island-drinking-water.asp
http://www.citizenscampaign.org/PDFs/FINAL%20BEE%20FACT%20SHEET%20with%20edits.pdf

For more information on the EPA's new labeling requirements please visit: http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/ecosystem/pollinator/index.html

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Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by seckel  8/19/13