Pesticides and Pollinators:
Is there a significant pesticide problem in the United States? Many argue this controversial topic, but the fact that the President of the United States continues to focus federal attention on associated issues says a lot.
The federal government, alongside President Obama, recognizes that a pesticide problem exists in our nation. As a result, the President recently announced the formation of a national task force to develop a strategy to combat pollinator declines.
The task force is known as the Pollinator Health Task Force and this task force will address the health of the pollinators. A bigger issue however stems from what is causing the problem with the pollinators to begin with. The White House plans to focus on several key variables when addressing the issue as they see it. The broad based plan will address elements of research to increase pollinator health and population sizes, additional education and public outreach, research to increase and improve pollinator habitat, and funding to improve public and private partnerships. Many feel dissatisfied with the task force plan because they do not believe that the real problem is addressed. The task force strategy areas do not appear to directly address the harmful effects of pesticide usage. Although the task force aims to reduce the loss of honey bees over winter by an annual average of 15 percent, the task force does not directly state strategy that will minimize or extinguish the use of pollinator harming pesticides.
Effects of Pesticides:
It is well documented that various pesticides have been used for more than a century in the farms and fields across our lands. It is also well documented that pesticides remain in our environment well after their time of use. Research has revealed that pesticides can contaminate surface water and ground water as well as the soil and air. Remnants of pesticides have even been found in the bloodstream of some suffering from various illnesses like cancer.
More Needs to be Done:
Although the Task Force organized by the White House has taken some action to limit pollinator exposure to harmful pesticides, much more needs to be done to limit and extinguish pesticide use in the U.S. Saving the pollinator population is necessary, but the reduction of environmental pollutants should be the ultimate goal.