Federal Forums Reveal Deep Divisions On Causes of, Solutions to Pollinator Decline

November 28, 2014

From: Bloomberg/BNA

By David Schultz

As federal agencies develop a nationwide strategy to reverse a dramatic decline in the number of pollinator insects, a pair of recent public forums revealed deep disagreements among the issue’s stakeholders: beekeepers, farmers, environmental activists and chemical companies.

The forums were held in the Washington area by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture.


They cite competing evidence that indicates the biggest problem for the health of American pollinators is not the use of neonicotinoids but rather the infestation of the disease-carrying Varroa mite.

“I have three issues,” Jay Vroom, president of the pesticide industry trade group CropLife America, said at the forums. “Varroa, Varroa, Varroa.”

Vroom cited the situation in Australia, where neonicotinoids are used but where the mite has not been introduced. The pollinator population there is strong, he said.

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