Worldwide bee deaths have now entered a crisis state threatening the global food supply and, according to a new report out Monday by Friends of the Earth, the human-made epidemic has been worsened by an industry-funded disinformation campaign
The report, Follow the Honey: 7 ways pesticide companies are spinning the bee crisis to protect profits (pdf), details how the leading pesticide corporations—Bayer, Syngenta, and Monsanto—are taking a page from the playbook of Big Tobacco companies to stall any potential legislation from protecting bee colonies.
According to report author and noted food industry critic Michele Simon, these corporations are engaging in a full-throttled public relations blitz, which includes funding industry-friendly research, targeting children, attacking regulators, blaming farmers and “pretending to care” by creating their own greenwashed “save the bees” campaigns.
These efforts are meant to distract policy makers and the general population from identifying the cause of bee decline, which—according to “a strong and growing body of evidence”—is linked to a widely-used class of neurotoxic pesticides called neonicotinoids, or neonics.
Following a 2013 review by the European Food Safety Authority, the European Commission implemented a continent-wide two-year suspension of the three
most-used neonics— imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam.
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