By Jenny Hopkinson
Pending legislation in the House of Representatives aimed at providing greater protections to pollinators is necessary to ensure a steady food supply and prevent agricultural losses, says Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), sponsor of the measure. In an op-ed in Roll Call, Conyers and Michael Shank, associate director for legislative affairs for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, argue that further losses to pollinator populations would put in jeopardy the production of more than 100 varieties of fruits and contribute between $20 to $30 billion in agricultural production in the United States.
“Going forward, saving America’s pollinators must be an immediate priority for us,” Conyers and Shank wrote. Federal agencies should be providing information to farmers and homeowners on ways to encourage bee health, the men wrote, and the government should put a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, as called for by H.R. 2692, “saving our honeybees, our food supply and America’s economic interdependence with these threatened pollinators.” The op-ed is available here: http://bit.ly/1sxEAbF