With the recent election in my country, Australia, of the most scientifically illiterate and regressive conservative government in history, I fear for the future of horticultural cropping. My professional experience tells me farming groups will now feel empowered to pressure the APVMA through the government to allow greater use of neonicotinoids…to their own detriment. It isn’t rocket surgery. No bees = no crops.
As scientists race to pinpoint the cause of the global collapse of honey bee populations that pollinate a third of the world’s crops, environmental groups have indentified one culprit: US authorities who continue to approve pesticides implicated in the apian apocalypse.
Case in point: The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) conditional approval in May of sulfoxaflor, a type of agricultural pesticide known as a neonicotinoid. The European Union has banned neonicotinoids for two years in response to scientific studies linking their use to the sudden death of entire beehives, a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Over the past six years, CCD has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives worth $2 billion. Bee colonies in the US are so decimated that it takes 60% of the nation’s bee population to pollinate a single crop, California almonds. And that’s not just a local problem; California supplies 80%…
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