In whose hands is the future of bees?
en francais / espanol abajo
Bees and other pollinating insect numbers are falling dramatically, putting their future survival in jeopardy with catastrophic consequences for ecosystems and agriculture. In some European countries, bees are disappearing from the environment at a shocking rate of up to 20-32% a year . A number of factors are thought to be contributing to this decline, including the emergence of new viruses and the changing climate, but there are clear indications that modern agricultural practices, particularly the dominance of monoculture farming with its reliance on pesticides could be key.
Scientific evidence suggests that changes in farming practice could be leaving bee populations vulnerable to disease and parasites, increasing mortality rates – and that changes in the use of pesticides may even be responsible for the collapse of whole bee colonies. Improved testing and scrutiny of pesticide use is urgently needed – but in the European Union, this process appears to have been taken over by industry. The advisory groups responsible for drafting the guidelines on pesticide use are made up of corporate ‘experts’ from the pesticide industry.
This article looks at the situation faced by bees, the role of industry experts in determining risk assessments and the potential consequences for our food.
Read the full article (also in French and Spanish) here: