Blumenauer, Conyers Introduce Save America’s Pollinator Act

July 16, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Patrick Malone (Blumenauer): (202) 492-6172
Scott Black (Xerces): (503) 232-6639 ext. 101

Blumenauer, Conyers Introduce Save America’s Pollinator Act

Washington, DC: Today, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) joined Representative John Conyers (MI-13) in introducing The Save America’s Pollinators Act. The legislation suspends certain uses of neonicotinoids, a particular type of pesticide that is suspected to play a role in the bee die-offs happening in Oregon and around the world, until the Environmental Protection Agency reviews these chemicals and makes a new determination about their proper application and safe use. Dinotefuran, the neonicotinoid ingredient found in Safari insecticide, is blamed for last month’s mass die-off of an estimated 50,000 bumble bees in Wilsonville, OR – the largest such die-off ever recorded. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is investigating the die-off and is temporarily restricting the use of 18 pesticide products containing dinotefuran.

“Pollinators are not only vital to a sustainable environment, but key to a stable food supply,” Blumenauer said. “When incidents like the alarming mass bee die-off of in Wilsonville, Oregon occur, it is imperative that we take a step back to make sure we understand all the factors involved and move swiftly to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.”

“Honey bees have been suffering rapid population losses for over a decade now,” said Conyers. “Another decade of these mass die-offs will severely threaten our agricultural economy and food supply system. It is critical and extremely necessary that we immediately begin to examine the death of honey bees and quickly take action to secure our food supply system.”

“It is time for the Environmental Protection Agency to take a stronger stance on pollinator protection.” said Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director of the Xerces Society. “The European Union has put restrictions in place on several neonicotinoids — we need a similar response here.”

Blumenauer has long sought federal funding for increased research on pollinators, protections for declining bee populations, and is the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Pollinators Caucus. Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director of the Xerces Society, joined the Congressman for a press conference in Portland where he discussed the specifics of the Oregon die-off and how to prevent future incidents. Lori Vollmer, the owner of Garden Fever nursery in Portland, also made a presentation. She chose to stop selling neonicotinoid products after the Wilsonville disaster.

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About The Xerces Society:
The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs.
The Society uses advocacy, education, and applied research to defend invertebrates.
Over the past three decades, we have protected endangered species and their habitats, produced ground-breaking publications on insect conservation, trained thousands of farmers and land managers to protect and manage habitat, and raised awareness about the invertebrates of forests, prairies, deserts, and oceans.


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