Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 1337

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.

Kodiwodi's Opinion
···
03/28/2019
When the bees are gone, we have four years to live as a species. I’m thinking yes. But then we aren’t too bright. David, I am a farmer/rancher now. I also worked for the USDA Cotton Insect Research Lab in Texas and was in the field subject to pesticide overspray of crops frequently. Mostly organophosphates but I got a good dose of Roundup too. I blame my Autoimmune diseases on these oversprays. While I sympathize with the farmer as you would see in my previous comments on farming, pesticides, especially neonics, aren’t the way to go. There are other proven methods to use.
Like (193)
Follow
Share
Leigh's Opinion
···
03/28/2019
What a lot of people don’t understand if we kill off bees our food supply will drop dramatically or stop completely. Bees are a necessary component in growing crops, without their job of pollination crops don’t grow. They are not a frivolous extra, not a environmental fantasy and not a liberal conspiracy but a vital part of sustainable food production world wide.
Like (147)
Follow
Share
burrkitty's Opinion
···
03/28/2019
Absolutely. Save the bees! It's all for their work as crop pollinators. This agricultural benefit of honey bees is estimated to be between 10 and 20 times the total value of honey and beeswax. In fact, bee pollination accounts for about $15 billion in added crop value. Honey bees are like flying dollar bills buzzing over U.S. crops.
Like (65)
Follow
Share

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.

···
03/28/2019
Banning things is never the answer, especially if government bureaucrats are in charge. The epa is unconstitutional and should be dissolved. The federal government can only do what the constitution explicitly authorizes. Everything else goes to the states.
Like (23)
Follow
Share
David's Opinion
···
03/29/2019
WHO of you are farmers? I am! My lively hood depends on pollinators. We don’t want to kill bees. Many of them are being killed by a mite, which gives the environmentalists a platform to place all the blame on pesticides. This exchange, Unfortunately, proves the E people get hysterical before reason prevails. In the 70’s, E people claimed we’re headed to another ice age come 2000. Nothing happened. Its always a FEAR narrative to try and get their way.
Like (9)
Follow
Share
Timeline508's Opinion
···
03/28/2019
Read the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. Of course we need to ban harmful chemicals!
Like (5)
Follow
Share

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
    IntroducedFebruary 25th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1337?

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; and
  • 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.

This year's version of this bill would also establish a Pollinator Protection Board consisting of expert scientists, beekeepers, farmers, members of environmental organizations and other key stakeholders to conduct annual reviews of potentially bee-toxic pesticides.

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. 1337

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress (and the 113th and 114th Congresses before that) to protect critical pollinators, such as honeybees, from insecticides that are toxic to bees and other insects by suspending the use of neonicotinoids, which have been linked to declining pollinator populations, until a panel of experts has thoroughly assessed them:

“Pollinators are critically important to our ecosystem. The food we eat depends on their health. If they are in danger, we are in danger. The EPA has a responsibility to get to the bottom of this issue and they must be held accountable. We must do more to protect pollinators to ensure our food system is healthy and the agricultural economy remains strong.”

Last year, Rep. Blumenauer argued that the status quo is like "flying blind":

“The health of our food system depends on the health of our pollinators. The status quo is like flying blind — we shouldn’t be using these pesticides when we don’t know their full impact. The EPA has a responsibility to get to the bottom of the issue and protect pollinators.”

Tara Cornelisse, Senior Scientist for the Center of Biological Diversity, says:

"We are experiencing a biodiversity crisis and losing insects faster than any other group of animals due to our chemical-intensive agriculture. By suspending use of the most pollinator-toxic pesticides, the Saving America’s Pollinators Act is a huge and important step towards saving the insects that we depend on so much to grow our food.”

Sussex University's Dr. David Goulson warns, "If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse." Were insect populations to collapse, Goulson warns that the plant would face “ecological Armageddon.”

Tim Hiatt, co-owner of Hiatt Honey Co. which is one of the largest beekeepers in Washington state, said that this bill goes too far relative to honeybees, but acknowledged a ban could help native pollinators:

“Neonics are insecticides, and bees are insects, so sloppy or careless application kills bees. But the majority of applicators use caution and don’t cause major acute kills. More judicious use of neonics would help beekeepers combat sub-lethal effects, which shorten the life of bees and colonies. But an outright federal ban is an overreaction as it relates to honeybees. States should assess the impacts to honeybees in their states and take appropriate action.”

This bill has the support of 33 Democratic cosponsors in the 116th Congress. Last Congress, it had the support of 44 Democratic House cosponsors and didn't receive a committee vote.

This bill was first introduced by then-Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) in 2013. Since then, it's been introduced in July 2013March 2015 and June 2017. Each time, it's been referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, then the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research, without receiving a committee vote. This year's iteration differs from previous bills in its bold definition of who should have responsibility for assessing harm to pollinators.

This year, Rep. Blumenauer believes this bill's odds of passage are better than in past Congresses because House Rules Committee Chair Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) has signed on as a cosponsor.


Of Note: 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. One out of every three bites of food Americans eat is pollinated by bees. 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. However, thousands of scientific studies have implicated neonicotinoids — a class of nictone-based insecticides — as key contributors to declining pollinator populations. Beyond Pesticides says

"Numerous scientific studies implicate systemic insecticides as key contributors to the global decline of pollinator populations. Systemic insecticides have been found to weaken both behavioral and immune resistance to parasites, pathogens, and temperature stress in honey bees and native pollinators. Several independent studies of managed and wild bees in the field have shown significant colony and population declines as a direct result of neonicotinoid crop treatment. There is widespread consensus in the scientific community that systemic insecticides are responsible for pollinator declines and need to be restricted, as evidenced by a 2018 'Call to restrict neonicotinoids' published in Science and signed by 233 scientists."

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.

Bees aren't the only endangered pollinators. Currently, over 40 series of palliators are federally listed as threatened or endangered. Most recently, monarch butterfly populations have declined by 90 percent.

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 percent of honey bee colonies dying off compared to 30.5 percent. This could indicate that the problem could be too complex for us to solve.

The European Union has already banned the outdoor use of neonicotinoids. In the U.S., the Oregon cities of Portland and Eugene have restricted their use.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: a8096b40_190 / iStock)

AKA

Saving America's Pollinators Act of 2019

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.

    When the bees are gone, we have four years to live as a species. I’m thinking yes. But then we aren’t too bright. David, I am a farmer/rancher now. I also worked for the USDA Cotton Insect Research Lab in Texas and was in the field subject to pesticide overspray of crops frequently. Mostly organophosphates but I got a good dose of Roundup too. I blame my Autoimmune diseases on these oversprays. While I sympathize with the farmer as you would see in my previous comments on farming, pesticides, especially neonics, aren’t the way to go. There are other proven methods to use.
    Like (193)
    Follow
    Share
    Banning things is never the answer, especially if government bureaucrats are in charge. The epa is unconstitutional and should be dissolved. The federal government can only do what the constitution explicitly authorizes. Everything else goes to the states.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    What a lot of people don’t understand if we kill off bees our food supply will drop dramatically or stop completely. Bees are a necessary component in growing crops, without their job of pollination crops don’t grow. They are not a frivolous extra, not a environmental fantasy and not a liberal conspiracy but a vital part of sustainable food production world wide.
    Like (147)
    Follow
    Share
    No bee, no we.
    Like (76)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely. Save the bees! It's all for their work as crop pollinators. This agricultural benefit of honey bees is estimated to be between 10 and 20 times the total value of honey and beeswax. In fact, bee pollination accounts for about $15 billion in added crop value. Honey bees are like flying dollar bills buzzing over U.S. crops.
    Like (65)
    Follow
    Share
    Should have never been approved! FIX THIS IMMEDIATELY! Linda, good comment. Very scary about your neighbor. Will he not reconsider and use something safer? If not, crappy neighbor, for sure!
    Like (40)
    Follow
    Share
    We need to have a fully accountable coverage rehabilitation structure for the environment and the full ecology
    Like (40)
    Follow
    Share
    Need to protect the bees.
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    Bees are the canaries in the coal mine.
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    NO SHIT SHERLOCK, DON'T YOU LIKE TO EAT? IF WE DON'T HAVE BEES OR OTHER POLLINATORS WE WON'T HAVE FOOD! YOU MORON
    Like (31)
    Follow
    Share
    We are losing bees and we can’t afford to, with bees gone so goes our food. Of course reading comments there’s always one dumbass. Go back to school, if you went to school at all. Vote Republican and kiss your ass goodbye.
    Like (27)
    Follow
    Share
    There are proven, non-toxic methods we should be using.
    Like (25)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes. .... and while we are at it..... create a policy that automatically adopts European bans on pollutants, toxins and other poisons. If European countries have already done the research to confirm products are harmful or unsafe, then ban them too. This includes medicines that have been determined to be harmful.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    There’s no reason by any stretch of the imagination that pesticides that aren’t legal almost every where else, should remain legal in the US. Here’s a good rule of thumb. If you have to wear a hazmat suit to apply these pesticides, we probably shouldn’t be using them in the first place.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    This is already law in Europe. We didn’t know the harm caused to pollinators by these chemicals before but now we do we absolutely have to halt their sales and distribution as a matter of survival of our agricultural industry. Do it NOW!
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    This should BEE a no-brainer!!
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Idaho had a great idea years ago. Cutting down the jackrabbit population also cut down population on coyotes and other predators that fed on rabbits. News flash. You can’t fix stupid. Years ago minors used parrots to detect harmful gas that could be fatal to minors. Of course the parrots died in the process. Maybe we should see the possibility of mass extinction of bees as our future fate.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Close Monsanto and Bayer to prevent them from Poisoning our word. This is a greater, more imminent problem than climate change! The problem is these companies pump truck loads on money into politicians pockets!
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    No bees; no food. Period. We almost lost the bald eagle because of ddt. We will lose the pollinators and face certain annihilation ourselves if we don’t ban insecticides that kill pollinators. What will it take to wake up the human race to crisis facing this planet. We banned ddt. We can stop the slaughter.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    It depends on whether we want any life to continue on the planet? I want my great grandchildren to live in a beautiful world teeming with forests, wildlife and people who love the earth and each other. Yes, I want pollinators protected. The magic of buzzing bees and dancing butterflies is precious.
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE