Bees Still Dying, EU Ban Fails to Pass and Awaits Appeal
Around the world, bees, which are responsible for pollinating the crops that yield 90 percent of the global food supply, are still dying off in a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder, and scientists are still unsure why.
One suspect is a class of systemic pesticides known as neonicotinoids manufactured by Monsanto, Bayer CropScience, and Sygenta. The European Food Safety Authority has called for a two-year moratorium on using these chemicals on flowering crops pollinated by bees and their seeds.
Representatives from all 27 European Union countries voted on the measure on March 15, which failed to pass without the support of the United Kingdom and Germany. To pass, the measure would have had to attain a qualified majority, a system in which larger countries like Germany have more influence. The vote was 13 for the ban, nine against the ban, and five abstaining. The European Commission is going to appeal this week.
What does this mean for the United States? The issue is relevant here as well; the Agriculture Department's Bee Research Laboratory's latest figures show a 30 percent drop in bee populations within the past five to six years, and neonicotinoids are used on much of the country's corn crop.
Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.