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USA: Save the Bees 7-18-2013

Dear friends,

Across the USA, millions of bees are dying, threatening our food supply. Scientists blame one group of pesticides some of which have just been banned in Europe. A new bill could save America’s bees, but big Agriculture and the pesticide industry are lobbying hard against it. We only have days to make sure Congress acts to stop the Chemical Armageddon — sign the emergency petition now!

Quietly, across the USA, millions of bees are dying, threatening our crops and food. A new bill this week could ban one group of deadly pesticides and save bees from annihilation, but only if Congress feels the sting of public opinion.

America’s bees are facing a chemical Armageddon — just last week, 50,000 died in a single car park in Oregon after being exposed to pesticides, and last winter over 50% of all California’s bees died. Leading scientists blame one group of pesticides called neonicotinoids. The evidence is so compelling that the entire European Union has begun banning them, and the Save America’s Pollinators Act could impose a ban on these deadly poisons in the US.

Now it’s up to us to get our politicians to save America’s bees. Big Agriculture and powerful chemical companies like Bayer are already lobbying hard to stop the bill, but if we show an overwhelming public support for a ban, we can counter their influence. Sign the petition below and tell everyone — when we reach 250,000 signers, we’ll take Avaaz’s giant inflatable bee to Capitol Hill to tell Congress to save our bees:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/usa_save_the_bees/?bkAqndb&v=27215

Bees don’t just make honey, they are vital to life on earth, every year pollinating 95 types of fruits such as avocados, almonds, apples, and that’s just the A’s — with an estimated $30bn value. Without immediate action to save bees, many of our favorite fruits, vegetables, and nuts could vanish from our shelves.

Recent years have seen a steep and disturbing global decline in bee populations — some bee species are already extinct and some US species are at just 4% of their previous numbers. Scientists have been scrambling for answers. Some studies claim the decline may be due to a combination of factors including disease, habitat loss and toxic chemicals.

But increasingly, independent research has produced strong evidence blaming neonicotinoid pesticides, forcing the European Union to temporarily suspend use of one or more of these bee killers. But, in the US, the EPA has been slow to react — their review won’t be completed until 2018 condemning our bees to 5 more years of chemical Armageddon.

This issue is now coming to the boil as major new studies have confirmed the scale of this problem, and Representatives Blumenauer and Conyers have introduced legislation. If we can get other members of Congress to act, we could shut down once and for all Bayer’s influence on policy-makers and scientists. The real experts — the beekeepers and farmers — want these deadly pesticides prohibited until and unless we have solid, independent studies that show they are safe. Let’s support them now. Sign the urgent petition to Congress now, then forward this email:

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/usa_save_the_bees/?bkAqndb&v=27215

We know we can win on bees. Last April, over 2.5 million of us signed a petition calling on the EU to adopt a ban on bee killing pesticides and won! And in the US, nearly a million of us persuaded the EPA to review their position on these poisons. Now let’s go one step further towards saving bees!

With hope,

Iain, Luis, Anne, Alex, Allison, Ricken, and the whole Avaaz team

PS – Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community. It’s easy to get started – click to start yours now and win on any issue – local, national or global: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=23917

MORE INFORMATION

Mystery Malady Kills More Bees, Heightening Worry on Farms (NY Times):
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/science/earth/soaring-bee-deaths-in-2012-sound-alarm-on-malady.html?pagewanted=all

Bee protection: US in spotlight as EU bans pesticides (The Guardian):
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/30/bee-protection-us-eu-bans-pesticides

Legislation to restrict pesticide use proposed by Rep. Blumenauer (Oregon Live):
http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/07/legislation_to_restrict_pestic.html

Some US bumblebees see 96% drop in last decades (Treehugger):
http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/some-us-bumblebees-see-96-drop-in-last-decades.html

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Avaaz.org is a 24-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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