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USDA bans honeybee-saving environmentalists from yearly Pollinator Festival; invites chemical industry instead

Pollinator Week Festival

(NaturalNews) Is the government really listening or just pretending to care? As pollinator populations dwindle, many facets of agriculture are put at risk. Beekeepers are speaking out like never before, concerned about the future. Shockingly, 44 percent of honeybee colonies have been lost in the past year! If the root of the problem is not addressed, key fruit, vegetable and herb crops won't reproduce fast enough and will become scarce at a time when they are most needed.

At this year's USDA's Pollinator Week Festival, important environmental public interest groups were shut out and dis-invited from the event. These public interest groups, including the important Beyond Pesticides, seek to protect honeybees from neonicotinoid pesticides. "Neonics" are pervasive chemicals that make their way into pollen and adversely affect the bees' nervous and immune systems.

Apparently, the USDA doesn't want to listen to this scientific truth. Instead of embracing common sense solutions to protect pollinators, the USDA pushes away the important topic of pesticides, which represent a billion dollar industry. Instead, the government welcomes the chemical industry groups and gives them the spotlight at their Pollinator Week Festival. It's such a front. The USDA is literally coordinating with the pesticide industry which has only ignored beekeepers' pleas for pesticide restrictions.

USDA ignores real solutions to pollinator disappearance

Advocates of independent science, who call for study and restriction of neonicotinoid insecticides, were dis-invited from the USDA's important event. In their place this year was the Pollinator Partnership, which represents the chemical industry. Syngenta, Bayer, CropLife and BASF have all sponsored the Pollinator Partnership. This means that the very ones destroying pollinators will be the ones influencing the government and offering "solutions" to the problems they themselves are creating.

For several years, the USDA included Beyond Pesticides, which is an important group representing consumers, farmers and the environment. This year the USDA dis-invited them. This is a group that highlights the science showing how neonicotinoids destroy pollinators. Beyond Pesticides has called for a ban on imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, three of the most destructive neonicotinoids.

These are the pesticides used to coat the vast fields of corn and soybean seeds. The pesticides don't just wash off. They become a part of the plant, remaining in its tissues, pollen and nectar. Despite advocates and beekeepers delivering over 4 million signatures to the EPA, calling for a ban on these pesticides, the government refuses to listen. It's apparent: government "protection" agencies are just front groups working to promote the large chemical industries.

Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides said: "We are disappointed that USDA has decided to rescind the offer to participate in the Pollinator Week Festival."

He added: "The foundation for a constructive dialogue between federal agencies and the public regarding the decline of our critical pollinator populations rests upon the free exchange of information and viewpoints."

Government pretends to help, while conspiring with the chemical industry

In 2014, the Obama Administration announced a new initiative to "reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels." After spending millions, the President's Pollinator Partnership Action Plan has fallen short. Honeybee populations are dwindling faster than ever, mainly because the initiative doesn't address the root issues of pesticide use. This is because the government's plan works with the chemical industry instead of addressing it as the root cause of pollinator deaths.

A recent US Government Accountability Office report found that the USDA and the EPA aren't doing anything of significance to protect wild pollinators. The report finds that there is no real action or coordination between agencies to even monitor the pollinators and track their decline. The report also finds that the government's million dollar conservation programs can't be evaluated, because they don't even have the internal expertise to have effective methods for conservation.

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