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Revelation: Honeybee protections sabotaged as chemical industry infiltrates Capitol Hill

Honeybee crisis

(NaturalNews) The first U.S. president, George Washington, once warned that few men have the requisite virtue to withstand the highest bidder, the implication being that even our most trusted politicians are only as principled as their lust for power and wealth allows. There's no doubt that Washington would be called a crazy conspiracy theorist by today's social justice warriors for espousing such an ideal, but it turns out that he was right; civil service in the modern era has deteriorated into little more than a game of pandering to the special interest groups with the most cash in hand to "grease the wheels" of the law in their favor.

One of the most influential special interest groups in D.C. today is the chemical industry, which includes everything from chemical drugs (pharmaceuticals) and chemical agriculture (GMOs and pesticides), to the consumer products that many people use every day in their homes and on their lawns. It's a multi-billion dollar cartel that spends multi-millions of dollars every year swaying politicians to not only approve the use of new chemicals, but also to reinforce approval of all the old ones, including those that have been shown to harm animals, humans and the environment.

A prominent example of this is neonicotinoids, the most widely used class of insecticide in the world, and one that's repeatedly been shown to harm a key element of our food production system: bees and other vital pollinators. Neonicotinoids have already been banned in many countries throughout the world because of the enormous threat they pose to our food and environment, but they remain in use here in the States because of backroom lobbying deals and revolving door politics.

Neonicotinoids never blamed for bee deaths thanks to chemical industry lobbying

The consumer watchdog group Friends of the Earth (FoE) recently compiled a report explaining why little, if anything, has been done to curb neonicotinoid use in the U.S., despite the fact that upwards of 40 percent of honeybee colonies are disappearing annually. Worse is the fact that roughly 40 percent of invertebrate pollinator species in general are now on the verge of extinction, and mounting evidence suggests that neonicotinoids are largely to blame.

According to the FoE report, the Obama administration paid lip service to the problem last year when it issued a so-called "Presidential Memorandum on Pollinators," directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to instruct the states on how to develop their own individual "Pollinator Protection Plans" (PPPs). But these PPPs have turned out to be a disaster, as they've allowed chemical companies to weasel their way into the legislative process in order to keep neonicotinoids off the regulatory chopping block.

"Rather than strong federal regulations to reverse bee declines, what is emerging is a patchwork of state programs and policies that lack specific enforceable regulations regarding pesticide use," the FoE report explains. "This allows regulators and companies to appear as if they are taking action while, in fact, doing little to reverse bee losses."

The nearly $33 million in lobbying funds given by Big Ag to corrupt politicians just in 2015 is a drop in the ocean compared to the tens of billions of dollars the industry rakes in annually from selling its chemical wares. Neonicotinoids alone generate upwards of $3 billion every single year globally, or about 40 percent of global insecticide sales.

"On the federal and state levels, the industry's pattern is to support studies, task forces and advisory committees which do not focus on pesticides, while vigorously opposing any legislation targeting research or regulations on neonicotinoids," the report adds. "In states which explore pollinator protection laws, agrichemical corporations, farm bureaus and other agribusiness groups have lobbied intensively to ensure that reforms do not ban or limit neonicotinoids."

The full report is available here.

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