The organic and non-GMO movement has gained serious momentum over the past few years, and the change comes at a crucial time: pollinators such as bees and monarch butterflies are in peril, as their habitats and food sources are being destroyed by chemical-intensive agriculture.
The movement to save the bees has long been raging in Europe, as bans have been instituted on the pesticides and several countries have instituted GMO bans.
Meanwhile in the United States, the movement has yet to see actions match words at a similar level. But now, one of the country’s biggest organic retailers is taking a stand for the bees, and against the pesticides that kill them.
Costco launches policy to protect pollinators
A 2016 policy release, entitled “Costco Wholesale’s Live Goods Policy To Protect Pollinator Health,” the retail giant stated:
Costco Wholesale understands that the honey bee population is declining and these bees are necessary for the life cycles of people, plants and the food we consume. We have invested in a multi-year research project to improve honey bee health and sustainability and are committed to following the continuing research, developments surrounding bee colony collapse and other areas of environmental concern. We are also committed to business practices that support the growth and sustainability of bees and other pollinators.
Costco’s policy also encourages their suppliers to use eco-friendly methods of pest or disease control when producing goods for their company, as well as minimizing the use of all non-essential chemicals. The retail giant is also mandating that the application of any chemicals must be done in strict accordance with all local and federal laws and regulations.
Costco is also heartily discouraging the use of neonicotinoids, particularly on plants where bees are considered to be primary pollinators, or on plants that are known to attract bees.
Waking Times reports that, “The policy follows on the heel of an announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ‘mitigate the acute risks to bees from pesticide products.’”
Between its 705 stores across the world and yearly sales totaling upwards of $120 billion, Costco is in a remarkable position to assist lead a massive motion against the use of these hazardous products. Offered the destructive decrease of bee populations (which continue to diminish), it is definitely essential that we start to end using hazardous pesticides and other such chemicals.
Recently, the rusty patched bumblebee was added to the endangered types list. Twenty years ago, the rusty patched bumblebee was a common types. It is now the very first bee in the contiguous 48 states to have actually been proposed for threatened types status, however there are grave issues that it won’t be the last.
Dangers of neonicotinoids
Neonicotinoids, or neonics for short, are a popular class of insecticides. Research study continues to show, however, that these insecticides don’t just harm the designated species of pests – they are likewise hazardous to bees and other pollinator types.
Scientists from Mainz University Medical Center and Goethe University Frankfurt just recently found that even low, field-relevant doses of neonics are undoubtedly damaging to bees. Their research study was published by the esteemed journal, PLOS One in 2016. They discovered that even small amounts of neonics can negatively impact acetylcholine levels in developing bee larvae. This can have a severe affect on the bees’ future advancement. Bigger quantities were associated with more significant effects.
Teacher Ignaz Wessler, one of the study’s lead authors, commented, “Our research results thus confirm that the neonicotinoids can jeopardize the typical advancement of honeybee larvae.”
Back in 2013, the EU came to a similar conclusion– triggering them to position momentary limitations on three popular neonicotinoid insecticides; imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam.
Several clinical publications have shown that non-lethal quantities of neonics could extremely well be related to the dramatic decrease in bee populations. Problems in reproducing and impaired flight orientation have actually likewise been reported.