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house Bill H.R. 1284

Banning Insecticides That Harm Bees And Other Pollinators

Argument in favor

Suspending the use of these insecticides until the EPA can determine if they are killing bees is a wise move that could save a vital asset to our environment, and the country’s agriculture industry.

BarackObama's Opinion
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05/19/2015
"Pollinators contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States."
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sethenglish's Opinion
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04/22/2015
Bees are vital to the farming industry. Banning chemicals that would hurt bees wouldn't be hurting the agriculture industry, rather saving it from itself.
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Annika's Opinion
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03/18/2015
I'm dumbfounded on just how Big Chemical & Big Agriculture our federal agencies and representatives have remained, despite solid researching pointing to pesticides as the culprit for bee colony collapse. How can you stand idly by watching this continue? This vital set of actors in our environment are not "optional" and must be placed above all man-made creations in importance & priority!!
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Argument opposed

Bees are dying everywhere, not just in places where insecticides are used. Finding out the cause of the bee deaths makes sense, but hurting the agriculture industry in the process is foolish.

Douglas's Opinion
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04/22/2015
I agree we should ban any pesticides that negatively impact pollinators, but this should be evidence based post study, not a blanket ban. The problem with banning everything is there is not enough research money out there to study and flag each substance as safe. We should fund research on the most prevalently used pesticides and give the EPA the authority to ban those that negatively impact the pollinators if it does not already have it.
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Taret's Opinion
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04/22/2015
Banning all insecticides is too much of a leap, I agree there should be research on what is harming bees, and only after that report is completed should we take appropriate action.
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Waldron's Opinion
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04/22/2015
We need to spend the time to determine the cause for the large losses of bees. But banning insecticides without verifying they are the cause will severely affect the world food supply more than the loss of bees in the interim.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Agriculture
      Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research
    IntroducedMarch 4th, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 1284?

This bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the registration — i.e. halt the sale and distribution — of plant, tree, and soil insecticides that bees are attracted to. 


It would bar the use of these products until the EPA has determined that they will not cause unreasonable harm to "pollinators." Pollinators in this case are defined as native bees, honeybees, birds, bats, and other species of beneficial insects.


Determining the effects of these insecticides on pollinators would be based on:

  • An evaluation of the published and peer-reviewed scientific evidence on whether the use of these insecticides has adverse effects on pollinators.

  • A field study supervised by the EPA Administrator that evaluates residues, annual residual build-up, chronic low-dose exposure, and the cumulative effects of multiple chemical exposures.


This bill would prohibit the EPA Administrator from lifting the ban on the insecticides listed in this act until the study has come to solid conclusions. The insecticides in question are used for seed treatment, soil application, and foliar treatment on bee attractive plants, trees, and grains; imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotafuran, and any other members of the nitro group of neonicotinoid insecticides.


The Secretary of the Interior and EPA Administrator would be required to monitor the health and population status of native bees in annual public reports to Congress, and identify the scope and likely cause of unusual native bee mortality.

Impact

Bees and other pollinators under this act, people who use insecticides covered in this legislation, the EPA, the Department of the Interior, and the EPA Administrator.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1284

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth:

High rates of bee mortality have created a worrying trend within the U.S. economy. Honey bees help pollinate nearly $15 billion worth of agricultural crops, and pollinators in general pollinate over $24 billion. The loss of bees has forced farmers to turn to pollination services — basically rental bees — which can raise costs by as much as 20%.


The causes of bee deaths have been attributed to several factors, including diseases and viruses. Additionally, the mysterious colony collapse disorder has befuddled researchers as to its cause. Colony collapse symptoms involve bees abandoning their hive and not warding off pests that invade the hive. This leads to the death of the next generation of the hive’s bees, exacerbating the problem.


Researchers have indicated that it will be very difficult to identify if insecticides are negatively impacting bees, as there are other chemicals found in beehives unrelated to insecticides that could also be damaging to their health. Fewer bees died in the winter of 2013 than in the prior year, with only 23.2% of honey bee colonies dying off compared to 30.5%. This could indicate that the problem could be too complex for us to solve.


Media:

Sponsoring Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) Press Release

NPR

Wired

Northern Arizona Gazette

Pesticide Action Network (Previous Bill Version - In Favor)

Take Part (In Favor)

Friends of the Earth (In Favor)


(Photo Credit: Flickr user www.ForestWander.com)

AKA

Saving America's Pollinators Act of 2015

Official Title

To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to take certain actions related to pesticides that may affect pollinators, and for other purposes.

    "Pollinators contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States."
    Like (118)
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    I agree we should ban any pesticides that negatively impact pollinators, but this should be evidence based post study, not a blanket ban. The problem with banning everything is there is not enough research money out there to study and flag each substance as safe. We should fund research on the most prevalently used pesticides and give the EPA the authority to ban those that negatively impact the pollinators if it does not already have it.
    Like (22)
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    Share
    Bees are vital to the farming industry. Banning chemicals that would hurt bees wouldn't be hurting the agriculture industry, rather saving it from itself.
    Like (42)
    Follow
    Share
    I'm dumbfounded on just how Big Chemical & Big Agriculture our federal agencies and representatives have remained, despite solid researching pointing to pesticides as the culprit for bee colony collapse. How can you stand idly by watching this continue? This vital set of actors in our environment are not "optional" and must be placed above all man-made creations in importance & priority!!
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Banning all insecticides is too much of a leap, I agree there should be research on what is harming bees, and only after that report is completed should we take appropriate action.
    Like (12)
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    Insecticides course cancer and pollute the environment.
    Like (10)
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    You can consider Big Chem to be a job killer too, but in a much more literal way. Does not ban all insecticides, only those bees are attracted to.
    Like (7)
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    We need to spend the time to determine the cause for the large losses of bees. But banning insecticides without verifying they are the cause will severely affect the world food supply more than the loss of bees in the interim.
    Like (7)
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    More efficient ways of protecting crops need to be found!
    Like (6)
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    Considering the EPA follows guidelines and mandates written by The agrichem industry I actually appreciate when it stands up for the people, animals, and plants that call this country home.
    Like (5)
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    Bees and other pollinating insects are more important to agriculture than pesticides that kill them.
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    Here's the issue. If we are wrong then we halted the use of beneficial insecticides and bees still die and we possibly harmed the production rate of our nations ag industry. If we are RIGHT then we found the killer that would ultimately lead to our own demise because of lack of pollinators AND the ag industry is STILL Hurt because now these insecticides are forever banned and we must adapt. These are tough choices, but ones we have to take.
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    Bees are so important to the ecosystem that this deserves a THOROUGH second look.
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    😑 this one's pretty intuitive. If they're natural pollinators, doesn't that make them necessary? I'm certain there are a number of crops that would suffer a great deal due to a loss of the natural pollinators. This would probably result into spending more money on artificial pollinators, and a necessity of steroids to induce the growth of those particular crops. I am almost certain the cost is a bit greater versus figuring out whether or not a pesticide is killing bees...and it's a pretty foolish that after all this time of using pesticides, now is when the substance is being questioned when it comes them.
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    Bees are vitally important to crops so why do we kill them!?
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    We can't afford to lose such a vital part of our ecosystem.
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    Why do we even need insecticides? What is wrong with doing things more organically?
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    Monsanto is evil in killing the pollinators. Monsanto is culpable. Monsanto be damn!
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    While I understand that banning the pesticides may cause hardship to growers and may cause some shortages and price increases in the short run, we must look at the long term. Bees are essential to the planet. We must do whatever it takes to protect these insects.
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    Its a straw man argument to say that this bill will ban every insecticide. It's just the ones that bees are attracted to. Doctors do something similar with allergens. Take them all out, then add them in until something triggers.
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