[In response to a recent website post, “North Carolina Pesticide Board Unanimously Approves Creation of Task Force to Investigate Risks of Neonicotinoid Insecticides to Pollinators and Aquatic Species,” July 13, Xpress], North Carolina is making a very important step to help save our crucial pollinators. By creating a task force to investigate the risks of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, or neonics, the state is leading the battle to get neonics banned.
Millions of bees are dying each year due to these harmful chemicals. Beekeepers lost 44 percent of their bee colonies last year. The death of our pollinators will lead to substantial environmental problems and a major food crisis. This can also have immense economic ramifications since bees and other pollinators are important for the production of dominant crops.
Neonics kill bees by disorienting them in their flight and weakening their immune systems, making them have trouble foraging and vulnerable to diseases. Currently, large agrochemical companies including Dow Chemical, Bayer and Syngenta are fighting to increase the use of these toxic insecticides.
Other states need to follow North Carolina’s lead to start testing the harmful consequences of neonics. The EPA needs to help restore bee colonies by placing a national ban on neonicotinoids.
— Ellen Chinn