Should we phase out bee-killing pesticides in our food system?

| | June 16, 2015
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

We love our bees. They make honey and pollinate our flowers and crops.

But bees are dying at an alarming rate. Even the White House acknowledged the dire situation and recently released a task force report about it.

While the report acknowledges that pesticides are involved in the demise of bees, it could have discussed more how for the first time in the history of agriculture the same chemicals are inside not only the pollen that bees consume but the foods we eat.

Recent data published in Science, Nature and other scientific journals show that bees are dying from some of the pesticides that are found in our food supply.

One of these groups of chemical insecticides is the neonicotinoids that are similar in structure to nicotine and poison the nervous system. They are used on about 80% of commercial food crops in the United States, are found in pollen, honey and other foods, and are exceptionally resilient in the environment.

The other is glyphosate, the active ingredient in most herbicides. Glyphosate not only kills weeds, it also kills many of the beneficial kinds of bacteria that are found in the guts of bees, dogs and humans. Because glyphosate is required for the production of most genetically modified, or GM, crops, its use has increased a lot since the introduction of these crops about 20 years ago.

Related article:  Viewpoint: No, wild bees haven't been decimated by neonicotinoids, glyphosate

Is our government doing its best to protect our health, as well as the busy pollinators?

Perhaps the dying bees are telling us something about the future of human health. Unless the system of chemical-based agriculture is changed, the chemical exposure of both bees and humans will continue to increase.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: How pesticides are killing the bees

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