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Update on Bee Losses

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Touch the Soil News #459 (feature photo – CC 4.0) Approximately 35 percent of global crop production and 85 percent of all flowering plants rely to some degree on pollination. So when we hear about bee colony collapse, the whole idea is unnerving at best. Recently, a group of 17 scientists, government researchers and NGOs came together to discuss the dangers surrounding the loss of pollinators. Led by Professor Mark Brown of London, the group came up with some hair-raising discoveries: The consolidation of the agri-food industries was the single biggest threat to pollinators. Corporate control of agriculture on a global scale risks homogeneous use of land that could damage…

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France Fires a Shot at the World’s Insecticide Industry

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Touch the Soil News #346 Not a household word, but the term neonicotinoid is the name for a specific neuro-active chemical that kills insects – including bees. So without insects, birds die, bees die and a large portion of food is in peril for lack of pollinating. The world’s largest manufacturers and sellers of neonicotinoids include Bayer CropScience and Syngenta. In the U.S., approximately 95 percent of all corn and canola crops and the majority of cotton, sorghum and sugar beets and half of all soybeans were treated with this chemical. In addition, there has been heavy use on fruits and vegetables including apples, cherries, peaches, oranges, berries, leafy greens,…

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Finally, the Bees Win in Court

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Touch the Soil News # 182 Amidst pressure from Dow AgroSciences, the EPA folded back in 2013 and approved a pesticide called sulfoxaflor. This chemical has been implicated in the global crisis in bee health. Dow AgroSciences touted that the chemical addresses a $2 billion market need for cotton and rice. Mother Jones journalist Tom Philpott, recently covered the outcome of a lawsuit by a group of beekeeping organizations and the National Honey Bee Advisory Board against the EPA – demanding that sulfoxaflor be withdrawn from the market. On Thursday, September 10th, 2015, a federal appeals court struck down the EPA’s approval of the pesticide sulfoxaflor. Commenting on the decision,…

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