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There’s more good news in the pollinators and popcorn world, and it’s just in time for National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. We’re excited to share that a third company, Preferred Popcorn, a fully farmer-owned company that provides popcorn to popular popcorn brands and movie theatre concessions, has taken bold steps toward removing bee-toxic insecticides from their popcorn supply chain.

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Want to join us in standing up for bees? Use your purchasing power to support popcorn companies that are doing the right thing for bees and the environment. Our Guide to Bee-Friendly Popcorn can help you get started!

 

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year, but we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides. That’s why we’re calling on Orville Redenbacher—the biggest brand in the popcorn industry—to source its popcorn from seeds that are NOT coated in these harmful chemicals.

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. But we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides.Bees are dying at alarming rates, and that scientists have identified a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a prime culprit in these drastic population losses. Unfortunately, the popcorn industry uses bee-killing chemicals on their seeds, too. Watch the animation and take action!

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Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity—joined by Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Prof. Lincoln Brower—have just filed a groundbreaking legal action to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sign the petition to extend ESA protection to monarchs!

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Center for Food Safety Launches Groundbreaking App to Save Pollinators: Wild Bee ID

App and Website Helps Declining Wild Bee Populations Find New Homes in Residential Gardens Across the Country

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, Center for Food Safety (CFS) launched the Wild Bee ID website and app to help anyone identify the wild bees—and the plants those bees pollinate—native to their own backyards. Several species of wild bees, like the Patagonia and rusty patched bumblebees, have gone extinct in the last few years in part due to the decreasing diversity of our agricultural landscape and increased use of pesticides. CFS built the Wild Bee ID app to make it easy for anyone to identify the bees buzzing outside their homes and to choose their favorite flowers.    

"If bees go extinct, so will we," said Rebecca Spector, West Coast director of CFS. "Seventy percent of the plants we eat need pollinators to survive, so we built the Wild Bee ID app to help people support these threatened pollinators by identifying which plants will best provide different types of bees with the pollen, nectar, and habitat that those bees needs to survive."

Wild Bee ID identifies North American wild bees with striking photographs, both the scientific and common names of the bee, where they\'re typically found, what behaviors they exhibit, and which floral resources will best allow different bee genera to thrive. Available on both iPhone and Android, the app also features guides on how to start a wild bee garden, bee nesting habits, and bee anatomy.

"As the owner of a sustainable honey business that\'s spanned three generations, I will definitely be using the Wild Bee ID app to identify more plants and resources I can use to save our bees." said John Wright, owner of the Bee Wild in Smyrna, Georgia. "And now everyone can do their part in their backyards or balconies too!"

The fact that many bee species are facing extinction has become increasingly well known, but most of the attention has been focused on the honey bee, which is not a native bee to North America. Unlike the honey bee, wild bee species native to North America are uniquely qualified to pollinate the plants from the same region because the interactions between flowering plants and their regional pollinators have led to increasingly sophisticated and mutually beneficial partnerships. The collective characteristics exhibited in a plant\'s flower—including its color, size, shape, scent, and bloom period—are designed to attract the most effective pollinators of the region. Variations which have occurred in body size and shape, tongue length, mode of pollen collection, and foraging habit have enabled native bees to glean the greatest possible pollen and nectar rewards from their botanic partners.

"Wild bee populations have been declining at alarming rates due to pesticide poisoning and habitat loss," said Wild Bee ID author Celeste Ets-Hokin. "As natural areas are steadily diminished, our residential gardens can provide valuable habitat for many bees. It\'s not often that the average citizen can play such an important role in the conservation of a critical species, but in the case of native bees we can all make a real difference by learning to create habitat in our backyards and community gardens. It\'s our hope that gardeners across the country will use the Wild Bee ID app to actively participate in the conservation of these vital pollinators."   

For bee enthusiasts who also want to protect wild bees in Congress and from the food industry, Wild Bee ID offers pollinator-related actions to write your legislators or companies, urging them to improve policies and practices. Wild Bee ID currently features an opportunity for users to urge their representatives to support the Save America\'s Pollinators Act, which would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take immediate action to protect bees from neonicotinoid insecticides.

CFS is one of the leading organizations fighting to preserve managed and native pollinator species and protect human health by stopping the prolific use of neonicotinoid pesticides. This includes receiving a victorious decision from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California when the judge ruled that the EPA systematically violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it approved bee-killing insecticides known as neonicotinoids. As a result, EPA will be required to address the impacts of the dangerous pesticides clothianidin and thiamethoxam on endangered species and the industry will also withdraw 12 different neonic pesticides from the market and their pesticide registrations will be revoked. CFS also filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) demanding the agency list monarch butterflies as an endangered species. As a result of a settlement, the agency must now propose protection for the monarch, deny protection, or assign it to the "candidate" waiting list for protection by June 2019. 

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CFS scored another huge legal victory! As a result of our lawsuit against EPA, 12 toxic, bee-killing "neonic" pesticides will soon be withdrawn from the market!

Neonicotinoids (neonics) are a relatively new class of insecticides, related to nicotine. These pesticides interfere with the nervous system of insects, causing tremors, paralysis, and eventually death at very low doses. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that exposure to neonics is one factor in the decline of bee populations around the world over the last decade or two.

Unfortunately, neonics are now the most widely used insecticides in the world. They are systemic chemicals, which means neonics are distributed throughout the plant, making the entire plant toxic. Bees and other pollinators are exposed to these toxic chemicals through pollen, nectar, dust, dew droplets on plant leaves, and in the soil where many native bee species nest.

Center for Food Safety (CFS) scored a groundbreaking legal victory when a federal court concluded that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency\'s (EPA) approval of dozens of neonic pesticides was illegal. And now:

•  EPA and the pesticide companies announced that they will take a dozen of these bee-killing pesticides off the market this year as a result of our lawsuit.

•  EPA has also agreed to assess neonic impacts on other endangered pollinators and species by specific deadlines.

Both of these announcements are the first time in U.S. history such steps have been required for addressing the impacts of neonic pesticides.

If bees go extinct, so will we. Bees and other insects are needed to pollinate more than one-third of our food, yet many pollinating species are in decline, largely because of pesticides, parasites, and climate change. Their disastrous decline highlights that we are deeply connected to and dependent on the natural world. It\'s clear that unless we dramatically change our ways—specifically the use of pesticides—our future is in peril too.

Despite this victory, a colossal battle still lies ahead for bees. While neonic pesticides can be applied in many different ways, they are most commonly applied to seeds as a "seed coating" prior to planting. After these coated seeds are planted, some of the toxic neonic is taken up and distributed throughout the growing plant, including its leaves, pollen, and nectar. A large portion, however, is washed off, contaminating the soil and water, and even neighboring wild plants – all of which pose significant threats to foraging or nesting bees.

Shockingly, EPA has never regulated these coated seeds as pesticides. That\'s why in 2017 CFS also filed a new legal action against EPA demanding that these damaging coated seeds no longer escape regulation. And recently, we submitted thousands of member comments from passionate CFS members (like you!) in support of our legal petition to the EPA. Thanks for standing with CFS to protect bees!

That\'s not all we\'ve got planned. We have another legal action demanding that EPA assess the  pesticide formulations that farmers and homeowners actually use, which are mixtures of multiple ingredients and are often more toxic than the single "active ingredient" that the Agency assesses under current practice. Additionally, we have notified the Trump administration that in 2019, we intend to sue the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for suddenly reversing a 2014 decision prohibiting neonics and genetically modified crops on national wildlife refuges. On the federal policy front, CFS has endorsed the Protect our Refuges Act of 2019, which would reinstate this important rule and once again ban the use of neonics in our national refuges.

Center for Food Safety also just launched the Wild Bee ID website and phone app to help you identify bees and tips on creating bee-friendly gardens in your backyard.  Now we can all take action in our own backyards or balconies to help conserve these essential pollinators! The app is easy to navigate, visually engaging, and highly informative, making it the ideal tool for students, home gardeners, and bee-enthusiasts of all ages! Download the free Wild Bee ID app today! 

With you by our side, we are on our way toward a seminal victory of removing a dozen of these bee-killing pesticides, and many more efforts to protect pollinators and human health!

As always, check out our action center for more actions you can participate in.

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CFS scored another huge legal victory! As a result of our lawsuit against EPA, 12 toxic, bee-killing "neonic" pesticides will soon be withdrawn from the market!

Neonicotinoids (neonics) are a relatively new class of insecticides, related to nicotine. These pesticides interfere with the nervous system of insects, causing tremors, paralysis, and eventually death at very low doses. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that exposure to neonics is one factor in the decline of bee populations around the world over the last decade or two.

Unfortunately, neonics are now the most widely used insecticides in the world. They are systemic chemicals, which means neonics are distributed throughout the plant, making the entire plant toxic. Bees and other pollinators are exposed to these toxic chemicals through pollen, nectar, dust, dew droplets on plant leaves, and in the soil where many native bee species nest.

Center for Food Safety (CFS) scored a groundbreaking legal victory when a federal court concluded that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency\'s (EPA) approval of dozens of neonic pesticides was illegal. And now:

•  EPA and the pesticide companies announced that they will take a dozen of these bee-killing pesticides off the market this year as a result of our lawsuit.

•  EPA has also agreed to assess neonic impacts on other endangered pollinators and species by specific deadlines.

Both of these announcements are the first time in U.S. history such steps have been required for addressing the impacts of neonic pesticides.

If bees go extinct, so will we. Bees and other insects are needed to pollinate more than one-third of our food, yet many pollinating species are in decline, largely because of pesticides, parasites, and climate change. Their disastrous decline highlights that we are deeply connected to and dependent on the natural world. It\'s clear that unless we dramatically change our ways—specifically the use of pesticides—our future is in peril too.

Despite this victory, a colossal battle still lies ahead for bees. While neonic pesticides can be applied in many different ways, they are most commonly applied to seeds as a "seed coating" prior to planting. After these coated seeds are planted, some of the toxic neonic is taken up and distributed throughout the growing plant, including its leaves, pollen, and nectar. A large portion, however, is washed off, contaminating the soil and water, and even neighboring wild plants – all of which pose significant threats to foraging or nesting bees.

Shockingly, EPA has never regulated these coated seeds as pesticides. That\'s why in 2017 CFS also filed a new legal action against EPA demanding that these damaging coated seeds no longer escape regulation. And recently, we submitted thousands of member comments from passionate CFS members (like you!) in support of our legal petition to the EPA. Thanks for standing with CFS to protect bees!

That\'s not all we\'ve got planned. We have another legal action demanding that EPA assess the  pesticide formulations that farmers and homeowners actually use, which are mixtures of multiple ingredients and are often more toxic than the single "active ingredient" that the Agency assesses under current practice. Additionally, we have notified the Trump administration that in 2019, we intend to sue the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for suddenly reversing a 2014 decision prohibiting neonics and genetically modified crops on national wildlife refuges. On the federal policy front, CFS has endorsed the Protect our Refuges Act of 2019, which would reinstate this important rule and once again ban the use of neonics in our national refuges.

Center for Food Safety also just launched the Wild Bee ID website and phone app to help you identify bees and tips on creating bee-friendly gardens in your backyard.  Now we can all take action in our own backyards or balconies to help conserve these essential pollinators! The app is easy to navigate, visually engaging, and highly informative, making it the ideal tool for students, home gardeners, and bee-enthusiasts of all ages! Download the free Wild Bee ID app today! 

With you by our side, we are on our way toward a seminal victory of removing a dozen of these bee-killing pesticides, and many more efforts to protect pollinators and human health!

As always, check out our action center for more actions you can participate in.

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We appreciate our planet, its ecosystem, and the food it produces. Here are 4 ways you can celebrate the Earth!

Save the bees by choosing pollinator-friendly plants for your garden to provide bees with ample foraging opportunities. Get our guide on what\'s best to plant during different seasons to help the bees!

��Eat green! When you strive to eat an eco-friendly diet, it can be tricky to consider the full picture of what\'s on your plate and how it was produced. Check out CFS\'s 9 ways to eat green.

Join CFS\' Global Seed Network! Sign up to exchange seeds and keep independent farming and gardening alive. With the impending Monsanto-Bayer merger, it\'s even more important we preserve a diverse seed supply through grassroots networks of independent farmers and gardeners so we can ensure there will be a diverse seed supply for future generations. Join our Global Seed Network!

Start saving seed! If you\'re new to saving seeds, we\'ve got a resource to help you get started! Download 6 tips for saving seeds.

Thanks for all you do to help us fight for a safe and sustainable food system.��

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Climate Change is such an enormous and unprecedented problem that it may seem like  our individual efforts can’t possibly make a difference. But, they do, especially on the food front. Think about it: if we are fortunate, most of us eat three times a day. That’s over 1,000 meals a year! Say you live with three other people – that’s over 4,000 meals in one household.  Each of those meals has the potential to contribute to climate change, or to help solve it.

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Using the power of photosynthesis, we can take excess carbon out of the atmosphere--where it\'s become a problem--and store it in the ground, where it contributes to soil and climate health.

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An excess of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere is warming the planet and increasing the severity and intensity of extreme weather events. While this is a grim state of affairs, there is hope, and it is right under our feet in the soil.

', 3 => 'http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/reports/3846/soil-and-carbon-soil-solutions-to-climate-problems', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 2 => array ( 0 => 'soil_still_84072.jpg', 1 => 'Video: Soil: Our Climate Ally Underfoot', 2 => '

One of our biggest potential climate allies is directly under our feet: soil. Healthy, living soil has an enormous capacity to store carbon. In fact, carbon stored in soil accounts for roughly three times the amount stored in the atmosphere! Improving the health of degraded soil holds tremendous potential to mitigate climate change.

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Take the Cool Foods pledge and do your part to stabilize the earth’s climate by being more thoughtful about the way you eat.


Center for Food Safety’s Cool Foods Campaign provides information about the connection between agriculture, food and a stable climate.

Everyone eats, so everyone can join our campaign!

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Despite the misleading claims of companies selling them, Genetically engineered (GE) crops will not alleviate traditional environmental concerns, such as the chemical contamination of water, air or soil. Far from eliminating pesticides, GE crops have actually increased this chemical pollution. Plants engineered to tolerate herbicides closely tie crop production to increased chemical usage. Crops engineered with Bt genetic material to protect against specific insect pests may decrease the efficacy of this important nonchemical pesticide by increasing resistance to it. This could mean the widespread conversion of this sustainable method of farming to chemical-intensive methods.

Meanwhile, genetic engineering has brought an entirely new slate of environmental concerns. Altered genes engineered into commercial plants are escaping into populations of weeds and unaltered crops. Genetically enhanced “superweeds” may well become a severe environmental problem in coming years. Even now, GE corn, canola and, to a lesser extent, soybeans and cotton are contaminating their non-GE counterparts. This is causing major economic concerns among farmers and is resulting in the loss of U.S. agricultural exports. The biological pollution brought by GE crops and other organisms will not dilute or degrade over time. It will reproduce and disseminate, profoundly altering ecosystems and threatening the existence of natural plant varieties and wildlife.

Despite these troubling and unprecedented environmental concerns, the U.S. government has allowed companies to grow and sell numerous gene- altered crops. Yet no government agency has thoroughly tested the impact of these crops on biodiversity or farmland and natural ecosystems. No regulatory structure even exists to ensure that these crops are not causing irreparable environmental harm. The FDA, our leading agency on food safety, requires no mandatory environmental or human safety testing of these crops whatsoever. Nonetheless, officials at the FDA, EPA, and USDA have allowed, and even promoted, GE crop plantings for years.

The lack of government oversight is troubling. Each decision to introduce these biological contaminants into our environment is a dangerous game of ecological roulette. The extent of irreversible environmental damage grows greater with every new acre of GE cropland and every new GE variety.

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There’s more good news in the pollinators and popcorn world, and it’s just in time for National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. We’re excited to share that a third company, Preferred Popcorn, a fully farmer-owned company that provides popcorn to popular popcorn brands and movie theatre concessions, has taken bold steps toward removing bee-toxic insecticides from their popcorn supply chain.

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Want to join us in standing up for bees? Use your purchasing power to support popcorn companies that are doing the right thing for bees and the environment. Our Guide to Bee-Friendly Popcorn can help you get started!

 

', 3 => 'http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/fact-sheets/4363/guide-to-bee-friendly-popcorn', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 2 => array ( 0 => 'savebees_fbad2-1fw_14578.png', 1 => 'Tell Orville Redenbacher to Stop Killing Bees!', 2 => '

It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year, but we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides. That’s why we’re calling on Orville Redenbacher—the biggest brand in the popcorn industry—to source its popcorn from seeds that are NOT coated in these harmful chemicals.

', 3 => 'http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17611', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 3 => array ( 0 => 'animation-title-card_fb_00193.jpg', 1 => 'What\'s Popcorn\'s Dirty Little Secret? Bee-Killing Pesticdes', 2 => '

It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. But we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides.Bees are dying at alarming rates, and that scientists have identified a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a prime culprit in these drastic population losses. Unfortunately, the popcorn industry uses bee-killing chemicals on their seeds, too. Watch the animation and take action!

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Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity—joined by Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Prof. Lincoln Brower—have just filed a groundbreaking legal action to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sign the petition to extend ESA protection to monarchs!

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Join CFS\' Global Seed Network! Sign up to exchange seeds and keep independent farming and gardening alive. With the impending Monsanto-Bayer merger, it\'s even more important we preserve a diverse seed supply through grassroots networks of independent farmers and gardeners so we can ensure there will be a diverse seed supply for future generations. Join our Global Seed Network!

Start saving seed! If you\'re new to saving seeds, we\'ve got a resource to help you get started! Download 6 tips for saving seeds.

Thanks for all you do to help us fight for a safe and sustainable food system.��

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Save the bees by choosing pollinator-friendly plants for your garden to provide bees with ample foraging opportunities. Get our guide on what\'s best to plant during different seasons to help the bees!

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Thanks for all you do to help us fight for a safe and sustainable food system.��

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Every May, adults and children alike are tasked with a daunting mission—to somehow thank our mothers for everything they’ve done for us over the years. Classic Mother’s Day traditions include a sentimental card, breakfast in bed, and of course, flowers. This Mother’s Day, take the opportunity to celebrate not only your mother, but also the mother we all share – Mother Earth – by purchasing and/or planting pollinator-friendly flowers.

Mother\'s Day comes at a great time of year for planting in much of the country. We strongly encourage planting native flower species, which are already adapted to the soil and climate of the area, and provide a perfect habitat for local pollinators. If purchasing plants from a nursery store, make sure to check that they haven’t been treated with bee-toxic pesticides. More on that here. After planting the flowers, do not use chemical pesticides or fertilizers on them.

Here are some helpful suggestions for pollinator-friendly flowers that are native to your region: 

Mid-Atlantic
• Lanceleaf coreopsis
• Wild indigio
• Purple coneflower
• Bottle gentian
• New England aster

Maritime Northwest
• Bigleaf and riverbank lupine
• Common camas
• Douglas meadowfoam
• Meadow checkermallow
• Slender clarkia
• Large flowered collomia

Great Lakes
• Lanceleaf coreopsis
• Wild lupine
• Purple coneflower
• Bottle gentian
• Calico aster
• Great blue lobelia

California
• Baby blue eyes
• Common tidytips
• California poppy
• Elegant clarkia
• Common sunflower
• California fuschia

Midwest
• Cream wild indigo
• Wild geranium
• Smooth penstemon
• Wingstem
• Bottle gentian
• Calico aster

Northeast
• Wild geranium
• Spiderwort
• Wild golden glow
• New England aster
• Cardinal flower

Southeast
• White wild indigo
• Clasping coneflower
• Eastern smooth penstemon
• Lanceleaf coreopsis
• Black-eyed susan
• Eastern rosemallow

Southern Plains
• Cream wild indigo
• Prairie penstemon
• Scarlet globemallow
• Blanketflower
• Purple poppy mallow

Happy Mother’s Day, and happy planting from all of us at CFS! 

 

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There’s more good news in the pollinators and popcorn world, and it’s just in time for National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. We’re excited to share that a third company, Preferred Popcorn, a fully farmer-owned company that provides popcorn to popular popcorn brands and movie theatre concessions, has taken bold steps toward removing bee-toxic insecticides from their popcorn supply chain.

', 3 => 'http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/blog/4486/victory-preferred-popcorn-nixes-bee-toxic-neonics', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 1 => array ( 0 => 'popcornguide_hero4_14287.jpg', 1 => 'Get Your Guide to Bee-Freindly Popcorn!', 2 => '

Want to join us in standing up for bees? Use your purchasing power to support popcorn companies that are doing the right thing for bees and the environment. Our Guide to Bee-Friendly Popcorn can help you get started!

 

', 3 => 'http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/fact-sheets/4363/guide-to-bee-friendly-popcorn', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 2 => array ( 0 => 'savebees_fbad2-1fw_14578.png', 1 => 'Tell Orville Redenbacher to Stop Killing Bees!', 2 => '

It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year, but we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides. That’s why we’re calling on Orville Redenbacher—the biggest brand in the popcorn industry—to source its popcorn from seeds that are NOT coated in these harmful chemicals.

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. But we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides.Bees are dying at alarming rates, and that scientists have identified a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a prime culprit in these drastic population losses. Unfortunately, the popcorn industry uses bee-killing chemicals on their seeds, too. Watch the animation and take action!

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Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity—joined by Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Prof. Lincoln Brower—have just filed a groundbreaking legal action to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sign the petition to extend ESA protection to monarchs!

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Bees and other beneficial pollinators are disappearing at alarming rates. While we may not know the exact cause of the disappearance, we do know that some pesticides are contributing to their decline. But we also know there are simple things we can each do to help combat pollinator loss. By making simple choices such as choosing to plant pollinator-friendly plants to provide bees forage—we can all help address this crisis.

Pollinator-Friendly Flowers
*This is a partial list taken from Beyond Pesticides BEE Protective Habitat Guide

Click on the season to view pollinator-friendly flowers for your yard or garden, or download the PDF.

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Every May, adults and children alike are tasked with a daunting mission—to somehow thank our mothers for everything they’ve done for us over the years. Classic Mother’s Day traditions include a sentimental card, breakfast in bed, and of course, flowers. This Mother’s Day, take the opportunity to celebrate not only your mother, but also the mother we all share – Mother Earth – by purchasing and/or planting pollinator-friendly flowers.

Mother\'s Day comes at a great time of year for planting in much of the country. We strongly encourage planting native flower species, which are already adapted to the soil and climate of the area, and provide a perfect habitat for local pollinators. If purchasing plants from a nursery store, make sure to check that they haven’t been treated with bee-toxic pesticides. More on that here. After planting the flowers, do not use chemical pesticides or fertilizers on them.

Here are some helpful suggestions for pollinator-friendly flowers that are native to your region: 

Mid-Atlantic
• Lanceleaf coreopsis
• Wild indigio
• Purple coneflower
• Bottle gentian
• New England aster

Maritime Northwest
• Bigleaf and riverbank lupine
• Common camas
• Douglas meadowfoam
• Meadow checkermallow
• Slender clarkia
• Large flowered collomia

Great Lakes
• Lanceleaf coreopsis
• Wild lupine
• Purple coneflower
• Bottle gentian
• Calico aster
• Great blue lobelia

California
• Baby blue eyes
• Common tidytips
• California poppy
• Elegant clarkia
• Common sunflower
• California fuschia

Midwest
• Cream wild indigo
• Wild geranium
• Smooth penstemon
• Wingstem
• Bottle gentian
• Calico aster

Northeast
• Wild geranium
• Spiderwort
• Wild golden glow
• New England aster
• Cardinal flower

Southeast
• White wild indigo
• Clasping coneflower
• Eastern smooth penstemon
• Lanceleaf coreopsis
• Black-eyed susan
• Eastern rosemallow

Southern Plains
• Cream wild indigo
• Prairie penstemon
• Scarlet globemallow
• Blanketflower
• Purple poppy mallow

Happy Mother’s Day, and happy planting from all of us at CFS! 

 

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Every May, adults and children alike are tasked with a daunting mission—to somehow thank our mothers for everything they’ve done for us over the years. Classic Mother’s Day traditions include a sentimental card, breakfast in bed, and of course, flowers. This Mother’s Day, take the opportunity to celebrate not only your mother, but also the mother we all share – Mother Earth – by purchasing and/or planting pollinator-friendly flowers.

Mother\'s Day comes at a great time of year for planting in much of the country. We strongly encourage planting native flower species, which are already adapted to the soil and climate of the area, and provide a perfect habitat for local pollinators. If purchasing plants from a nursery store, make sure to check that they haven’t been treated with bee-toxic pesticides. More on that here. After planting the flowers, do not use chemical pesticides or fertilizers on them.

Here are some helpful suggestions for pollinator-friendly flowers that are native to your region: 

Mid-Atlantic
• Lanceleaf coreopsis
• Wild indigio
• Purple coneflower
• Bottle gentian
• New England aster

Maritime Northwest
• Bigleaf and riverbank lupine
• Common camas
• Douglas meadowfoam
• Meadow checkermallow
• Slender clarkia
• Large flowered collomia

Great Lakes
• Lanceleaf coreopsis
• Wild lupine
• Purple coneflower
• Bottle gentian
• Calico aster
• Great blue lobelia

California
• Baby blue eyes
• Common tidytips
• California poppy
• Elegant clarkia
• Common sunflower
• California fuschia

Midwest
• Cream wild indigo
• Wild geranium
• Smooth penstemon
• Wingstem
• Bottle gentian
• Calico aster

Northeast
• Wild geranium
• Spiderwort
• Wild golden glow
• New England aster
• Cardinal flower

Southeast
• White wild indigo
• Clasping coneflower
• Eastern smooth penstemon
• Lanceleaf coreopsis
• Black-eyed susan
• Eastern rosemallow

Southern Plains
• Cream wild indigo
• Prairie penstemon
• Scarlet globemallow
• Blanketflower
• Purple poppy mallow

Happy Mother’s Day, and happy planting from all of us at CFS! 

 

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You’ve heard it before: bees are dying at alarming rates and research continues to point to a toxic class of insecticides (neonicotinoids) as a leading contributor to pollinator declines. Unfortunately, bees aren’t the only species jeopardized by the widespread use of neonicotinoids. Known for their water solubility and persistence, neonicotinoids are contaminating American waterways across the country and causing severe threats to aquatic ecosystems and, by extension, the country’s long-term environmental health and economic prosperity.

So where’s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? Ignoring the clear risks highlighted in the growing body of peer-reviewed research, the EPA has yet to take concrete actions to reduce current contamination of water bodies and prevent future harms to these aquatic ecosystems. In fact, in their December 2016 aquatic risk assessment, the EPA finally acknowledged the alarming levels of contamination from one neonicotinoid chemical, imidacloprid, in waterways. However, while the agency proposed more conservative toxicity benchmarks for aquatic life (which are essentially unenforceable guidelines), they did nothing in the way of creating stronger protective regulations, restricting uses, or implementing comprehensive water quality monitoring.

Why is this so outrageous? For starters, in its own risk assessment, EPA scientists concluded, “It is evident, […] that concentrations of imidacloprid detected in streams, rivers, lakes, and drainage canals routinely exceed acute and chronic toxicity endpoints derived for freshwater invertebrates.”

In other words, the EPA recognizes that these chemicals are harming the foundation of aquatic ecosystems—the very species that are the primary food source for birds, fish, and amphibians, and are responsible for critical ecosystems functions. Still, despite a clear acknowledgment of risk, EPA has taken no action and instead has extended its own timeline for completing the neonicotinoid registration reviews until the winter of 2018/2019.

So where do we go from here? Perhaps EPA should follow the lead of our northern neighbors. In November 2016, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) released a re-evaluation of imidacloprid. Their review includes comprehensive data regarding the fate and transport of imidacloprid, as well as research and monitoring studies showing the vast contamination from this chemical across Canadian waterways. PMRA’s re-evaluation report concludes, “imidacloprid is being measured at levels that are harmful to aquatic insects” and “the continued high volume use of imidacloprid in agricultural areas is not sustainable.” In response to their findings, PMRA proposed a phase-out of all agricultural uses and a majority of outdoor uses of imidacloprid.

The actions of Canada’s PMRA are precisely the type of strong, effective actions desperately needed in the United States. CFS submitted comments in support of PMRA’s proposed phase-out, and we will continue to call on EPA to take quick, decisive actions to prevent against further contamination of our country’s water bodies.

In an effort to increase awareness about these issues and direct EPA’s attention to critical new science that’s emerging, CFS released a new report, Water Hazard 2.0: Continued Aquatic Contamination from Neonicotinoid Insecticides. The report again calls on EPA to take stronger actions to protect aquatic ecosystems from the continued, largely unnecessary, use of these toxic chemicals. The report cites an array of monitoring data including a 2016 United States Geological Survey (USGS) review of pesticide detections in streams across the Midwest, where imidacloprid was found in 98% of sites sampled at concentrations known to be harmful to aquatic invertebrates, as well as a 2017 USGS report that found neonicotinoids in 100 percent of samples taken from the University of Iowa tap water. The report also highlights key points from new research on the long term toxicity and unique threats to vulnerable species.

The science is clear—bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides are causing more harm than good, and need to be restricted to prevent further contamination of our waterways. For more than five years, CFS has been at the forefront of fighting for pollinators and will continue to stand with beekeepers, farmers, scientists and consumers in advocating for a major shift away from our pesticide-intensive agricultural system. If you’d like to learn more about our pollinator protection efforts, visit our website

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There’s more good news in the pollinators and popcorn world, and it’s just in time for National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. We’re excited to share that a third company, Preferred Popcorn, a fully farmer-owned company that provides popcorn to popular popcorn brands and movie theatre concessions, has taken bold steps toward removing bee-toxic insecticides from their popcorn supply chain.

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Want to join us in standing up for bees? Use your purchasing power to support popcorn companies that are doing the right thing for bees and the environment. Our Guide to Bee-Friendly Popcorn can help you get started!

 

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year, but we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides. That’s why we’re calling on Orville Redenbacher—the biggest brand in the popcorn industry—to source its popcorn from seeds that are NOT coated in these harmful chemicals.

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. But we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides.Bees are dying at alarming rates, and that scientists have identified a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a prime culprit in these drastic population losses. Unfortunately, the popcorn industry uses bee-killing chemicals on their seeds, too. Watch the animation and take action!

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Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity—joined by Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Prof. Lincoln Brower—have just filed a groundbreaking legal action to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sign the petition to extend ESA protection to monarchs!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Legal Action Taken Against EPA to Protect Bees, Environment from Pesticide-Coated Seeds

Science shows broad harms from widely-used neonicotinoid seed coatings

WASHINGTON— Today Center for Food Safety, on behalf of beekeepers, farmers and sustainable agriculture and conservation groups, filed a formal legal petition requesting reforms in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulation of harmful neonicotinoid insecticide seed coatings, which are used on dozens of crops. Numerous studies have shown devastating impacts specifically to pollinators from the broad use of the seed coatings. With endorsement by all three of the national beekeeper associations, the American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association and the Pollinator Stewardship Council, the petition represents the concerns of the overwhelming majority of America’s managers of honey bees, which are essential to our food supply.

EPA has allowed millions of pounds of coated seeds to be planted annually on more than 150 million acres nationwide. The group’s petition shows the agency has improperly allowed this to occur, without requiring the coated seeds to be registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), without enforceable labels on the seed bags, and without adequate assessments of the serious ongoing environmental harm.

Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides known to have acute and chronic effects on honey bees and other pollinator species and are considered a major factor in overall bee population declines and poor health. Up to 95 percent of the applied seed coating ends up in the surrounding air (through dust off), soil and water rather, than in the crop for which it was intended, leading to extensive contamination.

The cost-effectiveness of neonicotinoid seed coatings has been challenged in recent years, with numerous studies indicating that they are drastically overused – making EPA’s disregard of their risks all the more harmful. The seeds lack enforceable labels or adequate use directions from EPA. As they are not considered to be “pesticides,” there is no requirement for official investigations of the bee kills that clearly can result from the seeds. And beekeepers who suffer damage to their hives have virtually no recourse. Along with honey bees, wild bees and other beneficial insects are in jeopardy. Overuse of the seed coating insecticides threatens sustainable agriculture going forward.

EPA also has allowed some other similar types of systemic insecticides onto the market and appears poised to approve additional seed coatings in the future.

The Petitioners are beekeepers Bret Adee, American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association, Jeff Anderson, David Hackenberg, and Pollinator Stewardship Council, farmers Lucas Criswell and Gail Fuller, and public interest and conservation groups American Bird Conservancy, Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network of North America.

###

Quotes:

“EPA’s actions surrounding neonicotinoid seed coatings have led to intensifying and destructive consequences. These include acute honey bee kills, as well as chronic effects to numerous species, nationwide water and soil contamination, and other environmental and economic harms,” said Peter Jenkins, attorney with Center for Food Safety. “With this petition, we are calling on Scott Pruitt to direct the EPA to put the health of pollinators, the environment and our food supply above corporate interests by regulating these dangerous chemicals.”

“After experiencing a large loss of bees in recent years due to corn planting ‘dust off,’ I believe that it is of critical importance that these defective products not be used as a prophylactic seed coating,” said Bret Adee, co-owner of Adee Honey Farms, the largest commercial beekeeping operation in the country.

“My honey farm business is not capable of surviving another three to five years if EPA chooses to \'drag out\' the treated article exemption instead of properly regulating these pesticides. People need pollinated food; somebody must stand up and say no to unregulated killing of pollinators,” said Jeff Anderson, beekeeper.

“As a beekeeper for over 50 years, I have lost more colonies of honey bees in the last ten years from the effects of planting neonic seed coatings than all others causes over the first 40 plus years of my beekeeping operation,” said beekeeper David Hackenberg. “This not only affects my honey bees, but as a farmer it also affects my land and the health of my soil. It is time for EPA to accept the responsibility to protect not only our honey bees and other pollinators, but also our soil and our environment.”

“Farmers rely on the crop pollination services of beekeepers to increase the yield of their crops. Farmers need clear, concise pesticide label guidelines in order to protect their crops and protect honey bees. Healthy relationships between soil and water, beekeepers and farmers, and beneficial insects and crops are essential to an affordable and sustainable food supply,” said Michele Colopy, program director at the Pollinator Stewardship Council, Inc.

“I began to question the value of neonicotinoids after some side-by-side comparisons showed little if any yield advantage. Shortly after this I began to hear of the possible connection between neonicotinoids and their detriment to honey bees, and I stopped using them altogether,” said Kansas grain farmer Gail Fuller of Fuller Farms.

“A single seed coated with a neonicotinoid insecticide is enough to kill a songbird. There is no justification for EPA to exempt these pesticide delivery devices from regulation. American Bird Conservancy urges the agency to evaluate the risks to birds, bees, butterflies, and other wildlife,” said Cynthia Palmer, director of pesticides science and regulation at American Bird Conservancy.

“EPA can\'t bury its head in the sand any longer,” said Marcia Ishii- Eiteman, senior scientist at Pesticide Action Network. "Given widespread use and persistence of these bee-harming pesticides, it\'s time for EPA to fully and swiftly evaluate the impacts of seed coatings — and prevent future harm.”

###

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Download the Report

Water Hazard 2.0, is an update to the 2015 CFS report, Water Hazard: Aquatic Contamination by Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the United States. This report shows continued widespread water contamination from neonicotinoid insecticides. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides known to have acute and chronic effects on honey bees and other pollinator species and are considered a major factor in overall bee population declines and poor health. In particular, the report draws attention to new research that shows a presence of these pesticides in water bodies across the country at levels known to be toxic to several aquatic invertebrates. The report also highlights a preliminary study that found detectable levels of neonicotinoids in 100% of tap water samples in Iowa. Neonicotiniod seed coatings, the largest use of these chemicals, are still not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In the time since the Water Hazard report was released, EPA published an aquatic risk assessment for the neonicotinoid chemical imidacloprid as part of its ongoing registration review of the neonicotinoid class. However, despite its findings indicating risk to aquatic environments at field realistic levels, the agency has refused to implement stronger regulations, restrict neonicotinoid uses, or enforce more comprehensive water quality monitoring. This is concerning as representative studies highlighted in this year\'s follow-up report show that continued exposure to neonicotinoid chemicals may cause irreparable neural damage to species impacted, leading to rippling negative effects throughout the food web. In addition to harms to aquatic ecosystems and species, a 2017 study from the University of Iowa which finds neonicotinoids in drinking water, and in which the authors conclude "neonicotinoids are likely present in other drinking water systems across the United States," draws attention to the large data gaps in safety testing and the potential risk to human health.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT >>

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You’ve heard it before: bees are dying at alarming rates and research continues to point to a toxic class of insecticides (neonicotinoids) as a leading contributor to pollinator declines. Unfortunately, bees aren’t the only species jeopardized by the widespread use of neonicotinoids. Known for their water solubility and persistence, neonicotinoids are contaminating American waterways across the country and causing severe threats to aquatic ecosystems and, by extension, the country’s long-term environmental health and economic prosperity.

So where’s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? Ignoring the clear risks highlighted in the growing body of peer-reviewed research, the EPA has yet to take concrete actions to reduce current contamination of water bodies and prevent future harms to these aquatic ecosystems. In fact, in their December 2016 aquatic risk assessment, the EPA finally acknowledged the alarming levels of contamination from one neonicotinoid chemical, imidacloprid, in waterways. However, while the agency proposed more conservative toxicity benchmarks for aquatic life (which are essentially unenforceable guidelines), they did nothing in the way of creating stronger protective regulations, restricting uses, or implementing comprehensive water quality monitoring.

Why is this so outrageous? For starters, in its own risk assessment, EPA scientists concluded, “It is evident, […] that concentrations of imidacloprid detected in streams, rivers, lakes, and drainage canals routinely exceed acute and chronic toxicity endpoints derived for freshwater invertebrates.”

In other words, the EPA recognizes that these chemicals are harming the foundation of aquatic ecosystems—the very species that are the primary food source for birds, fish, and amphibians, and are responsible for critical ecosystems functions. Still, despite a clear acknowledgment of risk, EPA has taken no action and instead has extended its own timeline for completing the neonicotinoid registration reviews until the winter of 2018/2019.

So where do we go from here? Perhaps EPA should follow the lead of our northern neighbors. In November 2016, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) released a re-evaluation of imidacloprid. Their review includes comprehensive data regarding the fate and transport of imidacloprid, as well as research and monitoring studies showing the vast contamination from this chemical across Canadian waterways. PMRA’s re-evaluation report concludes, “imidacloprid is being measured at levels that are harmful to aquatic insects” and “the continued high volume use of imidacloprid in agricultural areas is not sustainable.” In response to their findings, PMRA proposed a phase-out of all agricultural uses and a majority of outdoor uses of imidacloprid.

The actions of Canada’s PMRA are precisely the type of strong, effective actions desperately needed in the United States. CFS submitted comments in support of PMRA’s proposed phase-out, and we will continue to call on EPA to take quick, decisive actions to prevent against further contamination of our country’s water bodies.

In an effort to increase awareness about these issues and direct EPA’s attention to critical new science that’s emerging, CFS released a new report, Water Hazard 2.0: Continued Aquatic Contamination from Neonicotinoid Insecticides. The report again calls on EPA to take stronger actions to protect aquatic ecosystems from the continued, largely unnecessary, use of these toxic chemicals. The report cites an array of monitoring data including a 2016 United States Geological Survey (USGS) review of pesticide detections in streams across the Midwest, where imidacloprid was found in 98% of sites sampled at concentrations known to be harmful to aquatic invertebrates, as well as a 2017 USGS report that found neonicotinoids in 100 percent of samples taken from the University of Iowa tap water. The report also highlights key points from new research on the long term toxicity and unique threats to vulnerable species.

The science is clear—bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides are causing more harm than good, and need to be restricted to prevent further contamination of our waterways. For more than five years, CFS has been at the forefront of fighting for pollinators and will continue to stand with beekeepers, farmers, scientists and consumers in advocating for a major shift away from our pesticide-intensive agricultural system. If you’d like to learn more about our pollinator protection efforts, visit our website

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Download the Report

Water Hazard 2.0, is an update to the 2015 CFS report, Water Hazard: Aquatic Contaminat.', ), ), ), 'bid_1089' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Category', 'block_type' => 'Grouping', 'block_alias' => 'cat', 'post_id' => '44323', 'content' => array ( 0 => array ( 'id' => '224', 'PARENT_ID' => '80', 'sub_group' => '0', 'name1' => 'Pollinators', 'url' => 'pollinators', 'visible' => '1', 'order' => '6', ), ), ), 'bid_1099' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Author', 'block_type' => 'Grouping', 'block_alias' => 'author', 'post_id' => '44324', 'content' => array ( 0 => array ( 'id' => '231', 'PARENT_ID' => '83', 'sub_group' => '0', 'name1' => 'Madeleine Carnemark', 'url' => 'madeleine-carnemark', 'visible' => '1', 'order' => '15', ), ), ), 'bid_2295' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Keywords', 'block_type' => 'Tags', 'block_alias' => 'tags', 'post_id' => '44325', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'bid_1092' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Image Gallery', 'block_type' => 'Image Gallery', 'block_alias' => 'images', 'post_id' => '44352', 'content' => array ( 0 => array ( 0 => 'wood-sandpiper-317595_45518.jpg', 1 => '', 2 => '', 3 => '', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => 'EPA Should Look North For Guidance on Neonicotinoids', ), ), ), 'bid_1093' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Video Embed', 'block_type' => 'Video', 'block_alias' => 'video', 'post_id' => '44327', 'content' => array ( 0 => '', 1 => '', 2 => '', ), ), 'bid_1098' => array ( 'block_name' => 'TFN Link', 'block_type' => 'Link', 'block_alias' => 'link', 'post_id' => '44328', 'content' => array ( 0 => '', 1 => '', ), ), 'bid_1102' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Hash Tag', 'block_type' => 'Grouping', 'block_alias' => 'hash_tag', 'post_id' => '44329', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'bid_1120' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Additional Hash Tags', 'block_type' => 'Plain Text', 'block_alias' => 'hash_tags', 'post_id' => '44330', 'content' => array ( 0 => '', ), ), 'bid_4808' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Tweets', 'block_type' => 'Checkbox', 'block_alias' => 'tweets', 'post_id' => '44331', 'content' => array ( 0 => '0', ), ), 'bid_4809' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Quotes', 'block_type' => 'Checkbox', 'block_alias' => 'quotes', 'post_id' => '44332', 'content' => array ( 0 => '0', ), ), 'bid_4810' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Join CFS', 'block_type' => 'Checkbox', 'block_alias' => 'join', 'post_id' => '44333', 'content' => array ( 0 => '0', ), ), 'bid_5598' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Hide', 'block_type' => 'Hide - In \'page\' table', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '63141', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'bid_5838' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Scheduler', 'block_type' => 'Schedule', 'block_alias' => 'scheduler', 'post_id' => '63142', 'content' => array ( 'id' => '246', 'PAGE_ID' => '4934', 'BLOCK_ID' => '5838', 'set_time' => '0', 'start_time_hour' => 'NA', 'start_time_minute' => '00', 'start_time_ampm' => 'am', 'end_time_hour' => 'NA', 'end_time_minute' => '00', 'end_time_ampm' => 'am', 'start_month' => '04', 'start_day' => '23', 'start_year' => '2021', 'end_month' => '04', 'end_day' => '23', 'end_year' => '2021', 'occurs' => 'once', 'repeat_every_int' => '1', 'repeat_every_period' => 'year', 'repeat_stop_after' => '1', 'float_period' => 'first', 'float_day_o_w' => 'sunday', 'float_repeat_every_x_mo' => '1', 'float_stop_after' => '1', 'events' => array ( 0 => array ( 'id' => '2028', 'SCHEDULE_ID' => '246', 'PAGE_ID' => '4934', 'BLOCK_ID' => '5838', 'date_start' => '2021-04-23 00:00:00', 'date_end' => '2021-04-23 00:00:00', 'has_start_time' => '0', 'has_end_time' => '0', 'occurs' => 'once', 'start' => 'Friday, April 23, 2021', 'end' => '', ), ), ), ), 'bid_5956' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Unique Url', 'block_type' => 'Unique Root URL', 'block_alias' => 'unique_url', 'post_id' => '63143', 'content' => array ( 0 => '', ), ), ), 'alias' => array ( 'page_link' => '/blog/4934/epa-should-look-north-for-guidance-on-neonicotinoids', 'bitly' => 'http://bit.ly/2qAMwN1', 'root_url' => 'media', 'root' => 'Media', 'lead_img' => 'wood-sandpiper-317595_45518.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' You’ve heard it before: bees are dying at alarming rates and research continues to point to a toxic class of insecticides (neonicotinoids) as a leading contributor to pollinator declines. 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You’ve heard it before: bees are dying at alarming rates and research continues to point to a toxic class of insecticides (neonicotinoids) as a leading contributor to pollinator declines. Unfortunately, bees aren’t the only species jeopardized by the widespread use of neonicotinoids. Known for their water solubility and persistence, neonicotinoids are contaminating American waterways across the country and causing severe threats to aquatic ecosystems and, by extension, the country’s long-term environmental health and economic prosperity.

So where’s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)? Ignoring the clear risks highlighted in the growing body of peer-reviewed research, the EPA has yet to take concrete actions to reduce current contamination of water bodies and prevent future harms to these aquatic ecosystems. In fact, in their December 2016 aquatic risk assessment, the EPA finally acknowledged the alarming levels of contamination from one neonicotinoid chemical, imidacloprid, in waterways. However, while the agency proposed more conservative toxicity benchmarks for aquatic life (which are essentially unenforceable guidelines), they did nothing in the way of creating stronger protective regulations, restricting uses, or implementing comprehensive water quality monitoring.

Why is this so outrageous? For starters, in its own risk assessment, EPA scientists concluded, “It is evident, […] that concentrations of imidacloprid detected in streams, rivers, lakes, and drainage canals routinely exceed acute and chronic toxicity endpoints derived for freshwater invertebrates.”

In other words, the EPA recognizes that these chemicals are harming the foundation of aquatic ecosystems—the very species that are the primary food source for birds, fish, and amphibians, and are responsible for critical ecosystems functions. Still, despite a clear acknowledgment of risk, EPA has taken no action and instead has extended its own timeline for completing the neonicotinoid registration reviews until the winter of 2018/2019.

So where do we go from here? Perhaps EPA should follow the lead of our northern neighbors. In November 2016, Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) released a re-evaluation of imidacloprid. Their review includes comprehensive data regarding the fate and transport of imidacloprid, as well as research and monitoring studies showing the vast contamination from this chemical across Canadian waterways. PMRA’s re-evaluation report concludes, “imidacloprid is being measured at levels that are harmful to aquatic insects” and “the continued high volume use of imidacloprid in agricultural areas is not sustainable.” In response to their findings, PMRA proposed a phase-out of all agricultural uses and a majority of outdoor uses of imidacloprid.

The actions of Canada’s PMRA are precisely the type of strong, effective actions desperately needed in the United States. CFS submitted comments in support of PMRA’s proposed phase-out, and we will continue to call on EPA to take quick, decisive actions to prevent against further contamination of our country’s water bodies.

In an effort to increase awareness about these issues and direct EPA’s attention to critical new science that’s emerging, CFS released a new report, Water Hazard 2.0: Continued Aquatic Contamination from Neonicotinoid Insecticides. The report again calls on EPA to take stronger actions to protect aquatic ecosystems from the continued, largely unnecessary, use of these toxic chemicals. The report cites an array of monitoring data including a 2016 United States Geological Survey (USGS) review of pesticide detections in streams across the Midwest, where imidacloprid was found in 98% of sites sampled at concentrations known to be harmful to aquatic invertebrates, as well as a 2017 USGS report that found neonicotinoids in 100 percent of samples taken from the University of Iowa tap water. The report also highlights key points from new research on the long term toxicity and unique threats to vulnerable species.

The science is clear—bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides are causing more harm than good, and need to be restricted to prevent further contamination of our waterways. For more than five years, CFS has been at the forefront of fighting for pollinators and will continue to stand with beekeepers, farmers, scientists and consumers in advocating for a major shift away from our pesticide-intensive agricultural system. If you’d like to learn more about our pollinator protection efforts, visit our website

', 'hide_hero' => '1', 'date' => '2017-05-05', 'rel1' => array ( 'custom_title' => '', 'page_id' => '304', 'name1' => 'Pollinators & Pesticides', 'section_name1' => 'Issues', 'page_link' => '/issues/304/pollinators-and-pesticides', 'lead_img' => 'victorypreferredpopcorn_06854.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => '', ), 'rel2' => array ( 'custom_title' => '', 'page_id' => '4929', 'name1' => 'Legal Action Taken Against EPA to Protect Bees, Environment from Pesticide-Coated Seeds', 'section_name1' => 'Press Releases', 'page_link' => '/press-releases/4929/legal-action-taken-against-epa-to-protect-bees-environment-from-pesticide-coated-seeds', 'lead_img' => 'img_2856--version-2_06573.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Legal Action Taken Against EPA to Protect Bees, Environment from Pesticide-Coated Seeds Science shows broad harms from widely-used neonicotinoid seed coatings WASHINGTON— Today Center for Food Safety, on behalf of beekeepers.', ), 'rel3' => array ( 'custom_title' => '', 'page_id' => '4937', 'name1' => 'Water Hazard 2.0: Continued Aquatic Contamination by Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the United States', 'section_name1' => 'Reports', 'page_link' => '/reports/4937/water-hazard-20-continued-aquatic-contamination-by-neonicotinoid-insecticides-in-the-united-states', 'lead_img' => 'waterhazard20_47645.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => ' Download the Report Water Hazard 2.0 , is an update to the 2015 CFS report, Water Hazard: Aquatic Contamination by Neonicotinoid Insecticides in the United States .', ), 'cat' => array ( 0 => array ( 'id' => '224', 'PARENT_ID' => '80', 'sub_group' => '0', 'name1' => 'Pollinators', 'url' => 'pollinators', 'visible' => '1', 'order' => '6', ), ), 'author' => array ( 0 => array ( 'id' => '231', 'PARENT_ID' => '83', 'sub_group' => '0', 'name1' => 'Madeleine Carnemark', 'url' => 'madeleine-carnemark', 'visible' => '1', 'order' => '15', ), ), 'images' => array ( 0 => array ( 0 => 'wood-sandpiper-317595_45518.jpg', 1 => '', 2 => '', 3 => '', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => 'EPA Should Look North For Guidance on Neonicotinoids', 7 => 3891, 8 => 2470, ), ), 'video' => array ( 0 => '', 1 => '', 2 => '', ), 'link' => array ( 0 => '', 1 => '', ), 'hash_tags' => '', 'tweets' => '0', 'quotes' => '0', 'join' => '0', 'scheduler' => array ( 'id' => '246', 'PAGE_ID' => '4934', 'BLOCK_ID' => '5838', 'set_time' => '0', 'start_time_hour' => 'NA', 'start_time_minute' => '00', 'start_time_ampm' => 'am', 'end_time_hour' => 'NA', 'end_time_minute' => '00', 'end_time_ampm' => 'am', 'start_month' => '04', 'start_day' => '23', 'start_year' => '2021', 'end_month' => '04', 'end_day' => '23', 'end_year' => '2021', 'occurs' => 'once', 'repeat_every_int' => '1', 'repeat_every_period' => 'year', 'repeat_stop_after' => '1', 'float_period' => 'first', 'float_day_o_w' => 'sunday', 'float_repeat_every_x_mo' => '1', 'float_stop_after' => '1', 'events' => array ( 0 => array ( 'id' => '2028', 'SCHEDULE_ID' => '246', 'PAGE_ID' => '4934', 'BLOCK_ID' => '5838', 'date_start' => '2021-04-23 00:00:00', 'date_end' => '2021-04-23 00:00:00', 'has_start_time' => '0', 'has_end_time' => '0', 'occurs' => 'once', 'start' => 'Friday, April 23, 2021', 'end' => '', ), ), ), 'unique_url' => '', ), ), ), ), 5 => array ( 'id' => '4891', 'SECTION_ID' => '186', 'PARENT_ID' => '0', 'BLOCK_ID' => '0', 'order' => '80', 'visible' => '1', 'feature' => '0', 'hide' => '0', 'name1' => 'Antioch loves their bees! Tracking a successful year for the BEE Protective Campaign', 'url' => 'antioch-loves-their-bees-tracking-a-successful-year-for-the-bee-protective-campaign', 'bitly' => 'http://bit.ly/2mpWbIE', 'lead_img' => 'beeprotective_antioch_twandfblink_95917.png', 'meta_title' => 'Center for Food Safety | Blog | | Antioch loves their bees! Tracking a successful year for the BEE Protective Campaign', 'meta_desc' => 'Center for Food Safety | Protecting Our Food, Farms & Environment | Antioch loves their bees! Tracking a successful year for the BEE Protective Campaign', 'meta_img' => 'beeprotective_antioch_twandfblink_95948.png', 'meta_json' => '', 'update_meta_title' => '1', 'update_meta_desc' => '0', 'update_meta_img' => '1', 'update_meta_json' => '0', 'start_time' => '0', 'end_time' => '0', 'content' => array ( 'typ' => array ( 'page_id' => '4891', 'root_url' => 'media', 'root' => 'Media', 'text' => array ( 0 => 'Antioch loves their bees! Tracking a successful year for the BEE Protective Campaign', 1 => 'By: Amanda Mainello, Research and Administrative Intern', 2 => '#BEEProtective', 3 => '', ), 'rich' => array ( 0 => '

Colleges are abuzz with pollinator-friendly practices

We are very excited that over the past year, numerous higher education institutions – including Antioch College, Villanova University, and Macalester College – have committed to being pollinator-friendly campuses by joining our BEE Protective Campaign. And with spring just having sprung, we checked in to see how they’re doing. There have been some busy bees on these campuses, especially at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Here’s a peek at some of the progress Antioch has made to help protect bees and other important pollinators, and their habitats…

Tending to bees on the Antioch campus. Photo by Beth Bridgeman.

Since joining BEE Protective, the Antioch community has done an incredible job engaging students in the issues surrounding pollinator health through classroom activities and off-campus partnerships. The importance of healthy pollinators and their habitats is discussed in Antioch’s Ecology, Botany, and Ecological Agriculture courses. An environmental science class has taken the initiative to establish a pollinator pathway through their lively campus farm, and the students look forward to expanding the pathways as part of their Food, Farming and Resilience course this spring. Antioch’s farm also hosts multiple honey bee hives!

Off campus, Antioch has partnered with Urbana University and the Propolis Project to host a 1-day intensive Bee School. Additionally, Professor Emily Steinmetz’ class established a pollinator garden with inmates at the Dayton Women’s Correctional Institute. These events have been wonderful opportunities for Antioch to expand and share their bee knowledge with the broader Ohio community.

A food forest path at Antioch welcomes bees with herbs like oregano. Photo by Beth Bridgeman.

Since eliminating the use of neonicotinoids around their campus last year, the Antioch grounds crew has made tremendous strides planting and maintaining pollinator and native plant gardens throughout the main campus. They also report no significant issues with pests or diminished plant health since banning neonicotinoids from their grounds care procedures.

We applaud Antioch College and their tremendous community of dedicated pollinator stewards for their efforts thus far. We’d like to offer special thanks to faculty members Beth Bridgeman, Dr. Kim Landsbergen and Dr. Emily Steinmetz; staff members Reggie Stratton (now retired), Kyle Lewis and Kat Christen; Antioch Sustainability Committee; Antioch students; and the community members of Yellow Springs who have led Antioch towards modeling bee-friendly practices and becoming a visionary in the sustainable food movement. We look forward to hearing more about their success throughout 2017!

WHY it’s important for campuses and communities to BEE Protective

Pollinator-friendly plants welcome bees on Antioch\'s campus. Photo by Dr. Kim Landsbergen

In the United States, pollinators contribute $20-30 billion annually in pollination services to the agricultural sector. Indeed, about ninety percent of flowering plants depend on pollinators. Yet, over the past decade, we have witnessed an alarming decline in honey bee and other pollinator populations around the world. Although there are many contributing factors to this crisis, scientists increasingly attribute poor pollinator health and bee die-offs to the indiscriminate use of systemic pesticides, most notably a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids (neonics), used widely both in agriculture and in landscaping. 

This problem spurred Center for Food Safety and our partners at Beyond Pesticides to launch the BEE Protective Campaign—an initiative to encourage universities, institutions, and local municipalities to resolve to eliminate the use of bee-toxic pesticides on their grounds and to foster healthier habitat by planting pollinator friendly plants.

Spring is the perfect time to increase community involvement around these issues! By joining our campaign and committing to ban the use of neonics, your community will:

If you’d like to participate in our campaign or have any further questions, please contact the CFS Pollinator Program at pollinators@centerforfoodsafety.org. What are you waiting for? Let’s get buzz-y!

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There’s more good news in the pollinators and popcorn world, and it’s just in time for National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. We’re excited to share that a third company, Preferred Popcorn, a fully farmer-owned company that provides popcorn to popular popcorn brands and movie theatre concessions, has taken bold steps toward removing bee-toxic insecticides from their popcorn supply chain.

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Want to join us in standing up for bees? Use your purchasing power to support popcorn companies that are doing the right thing for bees and the environment. Our Guide to Bee-Friendly Popcorn can help you get started!

 

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year, but we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides. That’s why we’re calling on Orville Redenbacher—the biggest brand in the popcorn industry—to source its popcorn from seeds that are NOT coated in these harmful chemicals.

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. But we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides.Bees are dying at alarming rates, and that scientists have identified a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a prime culprit in these drastic population losses. Unfortunately, the popcorn industry uses bee-killing chemicals on their seeds, too. Watch the animation and take action!

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Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity—joined by Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Prof. Lincoln Brower—have just filed a groundbreaking legal action to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sign the petition to extend ESA protection to monarchs!

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Center for Food Safety Certifies under BEE Protective Campaign.

WASHINGTON–Center for Food Safety (CFS) celebrates Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio for becoming a designated neonicotinoid-free campus. This recognition comes from the BEE Protective Campaign, a program led by Center for Food Safety and Beyond Pesticides which aims to protect bees and other pollinators from harmful pesticides like neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides known to have severe impacts on bee populations.

“At Antioch College, we have an opportunity, and an urgency, to be change leaders in turning around pollinator decline, exposing misleading research and recognizing the importance of interspecies cooperation. To paraphrase our president Thomas Manley, ‘if we are not leaders in discovering and implementing new and better ways of living , then what is the point?’,” said Beth Bridgeman, the faculty member who drove the effort to ban neonicotinoids from campus.

The college is home to a 5-acre solar farm and a central geothermal plant, the 1000-acre Glen Helen Nature Preserve, and a campus Bee Club. Additionally, the Antioch Farm functions as a living laboratory where students practice sustainability-focused growing methods. All of the produce, eggs, pastured lamb, and culinary and tea herbs grown there are served in the dining halls, traveling 1,500 feet from farm-to-table. A student-driven pollinator pathway has also been built on the edge of the Farm.

“These kinds of institutional commitments are huge for the future of bees and other essential pollinators,” said Larissa Walker, pollinator program director at Center for Food Safety. “Antioch College is clearly a visionary, taking tremendous strides to protect pollinators and to be a positive force in the sustainable food movement. We applaud the college and the model that their campus is becoming.”

One in every three bites of food depends on bees for pollination, and the annual value of pollination services worldwide is estimated at over $125 billion. In the United States, pollination contributes $20-30 billion in agricultural production annually. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides known to have acute and chronic effects on honey bees and other pollinators, and are considered a major factor in bee population declines and poor health. Numerous cities, municipalities, campuses and other institutions across the U.S. have taken action to restrict and reduce the use of neonicotinoids in order to protect pollinators.

Joining the BEE-Protective Campaign is the latest in a series of major steps Antioch College has taken to make the campus a model of sustainability and leader in the food movement. In 2015, Antioch signed the Real Food Campus Commitment, joining other institutions of higher education in accepting the Real Food Challenge; a national initiative to shift $1 billion of existing university food budgets away from industrial farms and junk food and towards local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources by 2020. Antioch is second in the nation in terms of “Real Food” served on campus. Also in 2015, the College signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, an effort to make campuses more sustainable and address global warming.

BEE Protective is a national campaign established by Center for Food Safety and Beyond Pesticides, and works with municipalities, campuses, and homeowners to adopt policies that protect pollinators from bee-toxic pesticides. For more information about the campaign, visit http://bit.ly/1kp3gSV.

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Colleges are abuzz with pollinator-friendly practices

We are very excited that over the past year, numerous higher education institutions – including Antioch College, Villanova University, and Macalester College – have committed to being pollinator-friendly campuses by joining our BEE Protective Campaign. And with spring just having sprung, we checked in to see how they’re doing. There have been some busy bees on these campuses, especially at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Here’s a peek at some of the progress Antioch has made to help protect bees and other important pollinators, and their habitats…

Tending to bees on the Antioch campus. Photo by Beth Bridgeman.

Since joining BEE Protective, the Antioch community has done an incredible job engaging students in the issues surrounding pollinator health through classroom activities and off-campus partnerships. The importance of healthy pollinators and their habitats is discussed in Antioch’s Ecology, Botany, and Ecological Agriculture courses. An environmental science class has taken the initiative to establish a pollinator pathway through their lively campus farm, and the students look forward to expanding the pathways as part of their Food, Farming and Resilience course this spring. Antioch’s farm also hosts multiple honey bee hives!

Off campus, Antioch has partnered with Urbana University and the Propolis Project to host a 1-day intensive Bee School. Additionally, Professor Emily Steinmetz’ class established a pollinator garden with inmates at the Dayton Women’s Correctional Institute. These events have been wonderful opportunities for Antioch to expand and share their bee knowledge with the broader Ohio community.

A food forest path at Antioch welcomes bees with herbs like oregano. Photo by Beth Bridgeman.

Since eliminating the use of neonicotinoids around their campus last year, the Antioch grounds crew has made tremendous strides planting and maintaining pollinator and native plant gardens throughout the main campus. They also report no significant issues with pests or diminished plant health since banning neonicotinoids from their grounds care procedures.

We applaud Antioch College and their tremendous community of dedicated pollinator stewards for their efforts thus far. We’d like to offer special thanks to faculty members Beth Bridgeman, Dr. Kim Landsbergen and Dr. Emily Steinmetz; staff members Reggie Stratton (now retired), Kyle Lewis and Kat Christen; Antioch Sustainability Committee; Antioch students; and the community members of Yellow Springs who have led Antioch towards modeling bee-friendly practices and becoming a visionary in the sustainable food movement. We look forward to hearing more about their success throughout 2017!

WHY it’s important for campuses and communities to BEE Protective

Pollinator-friendly plants welcome bees on Antioch\'s campus. Photo by Dr. Kim Landsbergen

In the United States, pollinators contribute $20-30 billion annually in pollination services to the agricultural sector. Indeed, about ninety percent of flowering plants depend on pollinators. Yet, over the past decade, we have witnessed an alarming decline in honey bee and other pollinator populations around the world. Although there are many contributing factors to this crisis, scientists increasingly attribute poor pollinator health and bee die-offs to the indiscriminate use of systemic pesticides, most notably a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids (neonics), used widely both in agriculture and in landscaping. 

This problem spurred Center for Food Safety and our partners at Beyond Pesticides to launch the BEE Protective Campaign—an initiative to encourage universities, institutions, and local municipalities to resolve to eliminate the use of bee-toxic pesticides on their grounds and to foster healthier habitat by planting pollinator friendly plants.

Spring is the perfect time to increase community involvement around these issues! By joining our campaign and committing to ban the use of neonics, your community will:

If you’d like to participate in our campaign or have any further questions, please contact the CFS Pollinator Program at pollinators@centerforfoodsafety.org. What are you waiting for? Let’s get buzz-y!

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Tracking a successful year for the BEE Protective Campaign', 'desc_short' => 'By: Amanda Mainello, Research and Administrative Intern', 'desc' => '

Colleges are abuzz with pollinator-friendly practices

We are very excited that over the past year, numerous higher education institutions – including Antioch College, Villanova University, and Macalester College – have committed to being pollinator-friendly campuses by joining our BEE Protective Campaign. And with spring just having sprung, we checked in to see how they’re doing. There have been some busy bees on these campuses, especially at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Here’s a peek at some of the progress Antioch has made to help protect bees and other important pollinators, and their habitats…

Tending to bees on the Antioch campus. Photo by Beth Bridgeman.

Since joining BEE Protective, the Antioch community has done an incredible job engaging students in the issues surrounding pollinator health through classroom activities and off-campus partnerships. The importance of healthy pollinators and their habitats is discussed in Antioch’s Ecology, Botany, and Ecological Agriculture courses. An environmental science class has taken the initiative to establish a pollinator pathway through their lively campus farm, and the students look forward to expanding the pathways as part of their Food, Farming and Resilience course this spring. Antioch’s farm also hosts multiple honey bee hives!

Off campus, Antioch has partnered with Urbana University and the Propolis Project to host a 1-day intensive Bee School. Additionally, Professor Emily Steinmetz’ class established a pollinator garden with inmates at the Dayton Women’s Correctional Institute. These events have been wonderful opportunities for Antioch to expand and share their bee knowledge with the broader Ohio community.

A food forest path at Antioch welcomes bees with herbs like oregano. Photo by Beth Bridgeman.

Since eliminating the use of neonicotinoids around their campus last year, the Antioch grounds crew has made tremendous strides planting and maintaining pollinator and native plant gardens throughout the main campus. They also report no significant issues with pests or diminished plant health since banning neonicotinoids from their grounds care procedures.

We applaud Antioch College and their tremendous community of dedicated pollinator stewards for their efforts thus far. We’d like to offer special thanks to faculty members Beth Bridgeman, Dr. Kim Landsbergen and Dr. Emily Steinmetz; staff members Reggie Stratton (now retired), Kyle Lewis and Kat Christen; Antioch Sustainability Committee; Antioch students; and the community members of Yellow Springs who have led Antioch towards modeling bee-friendly practices and becoming a visionary in the sustainable food movement. We look forward to hearing more about their success throughout 2017!

WHY it’s important for campuses and communities to BEE Protective

Pollinator-friendly plants welcome bees on Antioch\'s campus. Photo by Dr. Kim Landsbergen

In the United States, pollinators contribute $20-30 billion annually in pollination services to the agricultural sector. Indeed, about ninety percent of flowering plants depend on pollinators. Yet, over the past decade, we have witnessed an alarming decline in honey bee and other pollinator populations around the world. Although there are many contributing factors to this crisis, scientists increasingly attribute poor pollinator health and bee die-offs to the indiscriminate use of systemic pesticides, most notably a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids (neonics), used widely both in agriculture and in landscaping. 

This problem spurred Center for Food Safety and our partners at Beyond Pesticides to launch the BEE Protective Campaign—an initiative to encourage universities, institutions, and local municipalities to resolve to eliminate the use of bee-toxic pesticides on their grounds and to foster healthier habitat by planting pollinator friendly plants.

Spring is the perfect time to increase community involvement around these issues! By joining our campaign and committing to ban the use of neonics, your community will:

If you’d like to participate in our campaign or have any further questions, please contact the CFS Pollinator Program at pollinators@centerforfoodsafety.org. What are you waiting for? Let’s get buzz-y!

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This week is the first congressional recess of Donald Trump’s presidency, and for many, it will be the first opportunity to speak directly with your members of Congress. During the recess, members of Congress will be working in their home districts, and many of them are holding town hall meetings, events, and open office hours.

Center for Food Safety strongly believes in active participation at all levels of government because we the people are who they serve. These town hall meetings are especially valuable in our current political climate, as many people have had a hard time getting through to their representatives’ offices – phone lines have often been busy and voice mail boxes full. We encourage you to take the opportunity to interact with your elected official, voice your very valuable concerns, and get answers to your questions. 

We know it can sometimes be intimidating to attend these meetings, let alone speak up and ask a question, so to make it easier for you we have created a simple toolkit to help you look up your representatives, find a town hall meeting near you, and target your questions on issue areas that are of importance to you.

Get Your Town Hall Guide

Public pressure works! Just a few days ago, Andy Puzder, fast food titan and Trump\'s pick for Labor Secretary, withdrew his nomination under growing pressure from constituents.

Now more than ever it is imperative to be engaged and informed on the various issues facing our food system and the environment. That’s why CFS has also just launched a new “Trump Watch” page to help watchdog the administration’s actions on food, agriculture, and the environment. This is your hub for all the latest news, actions and blogs on the cabinet members, executive orders, and regulatory policies that affect the food movement. Please check it out and be sure to share it with your friends!

The Town Hall Project is keeping an up-to-date list of town hall meetings and open office hours across the country. Find one near you and get active!

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There’s more good news in the pollinators and popcorn world, and it’s just in time for National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. We’re excited to share that a third company, Preferred Popcorn, a fully farmer-owned company that provides popcorn to popular popcorn brands and movie theatre concessions, has taken bold steps toward removing bee-toxic insecticides from their popcorn supply chain.

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Want to join us in standing up for bees? Use your purchasing power to support popcorn companies that are doing the right thing for bees and the environment. Our Guide to Bee-Friendly Popcorn can help you get started!

 

', 3 => 'http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/fact-sheets/4363/guide-to-bee-friendly-popcorn', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 2 => array ( 0 => 'savebees_fbad2-1fw_14578.png', 1 => 'Tell Orville Redenbacher to Stop Killing Bees!', 2 => '

It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year, but we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides. That’s why we’re calling on Orville Redenbacher—the biggest brand in the popcorn industry—to source its popcorn from seeds that are NOT coated in these harmful chemicals.

', 3 => 'http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17611', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 3 => array ( 0 => 'animation-title-card_fb_00193.jpg', 1 => 'What\'s Popcorn\'s Dirty Little Secret? Bee-Killing Pesticdes', 2 => '

It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. But we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides.Bees are dying at alarming rates, and that scientists have identified a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a prime culprit in these drastic population losses. Unfortunately, the popcorn industry uses bee-killing chemicals on their seeds, too. Watch the animation and take action!

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Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity—joined by Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Prof. Lincoln Brower—have just filed a groundbreaking legal action to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sign the petition to extend ESA protection to monarchs!

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Climate Change is such an enormous and unprecedented problem that it may seem like  our individual efforts can’t possibly make a difference. But, they do, especially on the food front. Think about it: if we are fortunate, most of us eat three times a day. That’s over 1,000 meals a year! Say you live with three other people – that’s over 4,000 meals in one household.  Each of those meals has the potential to contribute to climate change, or to help solve it.

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Using the power of photosynthesis, we can take excess carbon out of the atmosphere--where it\'s become a problem--and store it in the ground, where it contributes to soil and climate health.

', 3 => 'https://soilsolution.org/', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 1 => array ( 0 => 'soil-report-hero_498x312_56037.jpg', 1 => '[MINI REPORT] Soil & Carbon: Soil Solutions to Climate Problems', 2 => '

An excess of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere is warming the planet and increasing the severity and intensity of extreme weather events. While this is a grim state of affairs, there is hope, and it is right under our feet in the soil.

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One of our biggest potential climate allies is directly under our feet: soil. Healthy, living soil has an enormous capacity to store carbon. In fact, carbon stored in soil accounts for roughly three times the amount stored in the atmosphere! Improving the health of degraded soil holds tremendous potential to mitigate climate change.

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Take the Cool Foods pledge and do your part to stabilize the earth’s climate by being more thoughtful about the way you eat.


Center for Food Safety’s Cool Foods Campaign provides information about the connection between agriculture, food and a stable climate.

Everyone eats, so everyone can join our campaign!

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The genetic engineering of plants and animals is looming as one of the greatest and most intractable environmental challenges of the 21st Century. Already, this novel technology has invaded our grocery stores and our kitchen pantries by fundamentally altering some of our most important staple food crops.

By being able to take the genetic material from one organism and insert it into the permanent genetic code of another, biotechnologists have engineered numerous novel creations, such as potatoes with bacteria genes, “super” pigs with human growth genes, fish with cattle growth genes, tomatoes with flounder genes, and thousands of other plants, animals and insects. At an alarming rate, these creations are now being patented and released into the environment.

Currently, up to 85 percent of U.S. corn is genetically engineered as are 91 percent of soybeans and 88 percent of cotton (cottonseed oil is often used in food products). According to industry, up to 95% of sugar beets are now GE. It has been estimated that upwards of 70 percent of processed foods on supermarket shelves–from soda to soup, crackers to condiments–contain genetically engineered ingredients.

A number of studies over the past decade have revealed that genetically engineered foods can pose serious risks to humans, domesticated animals, wildlife and the environment. Human health effects can include higher risks of toxicity, allergenicity, antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression and cancer. As for environmental impacts, the use of genetic engineering in agriculture will lead to uncontrolled biological pollution, threatening numerous microbial, plant and animal species with extinction, and the potential contamination of all non-genetically engineered life forms with novel and possibly hazardous genetic material.

Despite these long-term and wide-ranging risks, Congress has yet to pass a single law intended to manage them responsibly. This despite the fact that our regulatory agencies have failed to adequately address the human health or environmental impacts of genetic engineering. On the federal level, eight agencies attempt to regulate biotechnology using 12 different statutes or laws that were written long before genetically engineered food, animals and insects became a reality. The result has been a regulatory tangle, where any regulation even exists, as existing laws are grossly manipulated to manage threats they were never intended to regulate. Among many bizarre examples of these regulatory anomalies is the current attempt by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate genetically engineered fish as “new animal drugs.” Yet, at the same time, the FDA claims it has no jurisdiction over genetically engineered pet fish like the Glofish.

The haphazard and negligent agency regulation of biotechnology has been a disaster for consumers and the environment. Unsuspecting consumers by the tens of millions are being allowed to purchase and consume unlabeled genetically engineered foods, despite a finding by FDA scientists that these foods could pose serious risks. And new genetically engineered crops are being approved by federal agencies despite admissions that they will contaminate native and conventional plants and pose other significant new environmental threats. In short, there has been a complete abdication of any responsible legislative or regulatory oversight of genetically engineered foods. Clearly, now is a critical time to challenge the government’s negligence in managing the human health and environmental threats from biotechnology.

CFS seeks to halt the approval, commercialization or release of any new genetically engineered crops until they have been thoroughly tested and found safe for human health and the environment. CFS maintains that any foods that already contain genetically engineered ingredients must be clearly labeled. Additionally, CFS advocates the containment and reduction of existing genetically engineered crops.

', ), 'lead_img' => 'airplane-465619_1920_33778_51645.jpg', 'gallery' => array ( 0 => array ( 0 => 'airplane-465619_1920_33778_51645.jpg', 1 => 'After Cursory Review, EPA Proposes Dramatic Expansion of Toxic Pesticide Blend Enlist Duo', 2 => '

The Environmental Protection Agency has reapproved and proposed a dramatic expansion of the use of the toxic pesticide Enlist Duo after only a cursory review of troubling data showing the two chemicals in the pesticide combine to have “synergistic” effects that are potentially harmful to endangered species and the environment. If approved the pesticide cocktail could be used on corn, soy and cotton in 35 states — up from 16 states where the product was previously approved for just corn and soy.

', 3 => 'http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/4559/after-cursory-review-epa-proposes-dramatic-expansionof-toxic-pesticide-blend-enlist-duo', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 1 => array ( 0 => 'jacksonvictory_59877.jpg', 1 => 'Victory! Judge Upholds Jackson County’s Ban on Genetically Engineered Crops', 2 => '

Family farmers and other supporters of Jackson County’s precedent-setting ban on genetically engineered (GE) crop cultivation are celebrating a federal court ruling upholding the legality of Jackson County’s ordinance. The ruling released this afternoon by Federal District Court Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke was a resounding victory for Our Family Farms Coalition (OFFC) and Center for Food Safety (CFS), which intervened in the case to defend the ban along with two local family farmers.  Lawyers with Center for Food Safety and the Earthrise Law Center based at Lewis and Clark Law School jointly represented the intervening parties.

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McDonald\'s, Wendy\'s, and Gerber have already indicated that they don\'t plan to use these GE apples. Burger King could be next.

Sign the petition: Tell Burger King to commit to keeping GE apples out of its meals.

', 3 => 'http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=19365', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 3 => array ( 0 => 'shoppersguide_mobile2_53822.jpg', 1 => 'Get your free CFS Shoppers Guide to Avoiding GE Foods!', 2 => '

Which supermarket foods are genetically engineered? This is probably the most urgent question the public has about these novel foods. But despite overwhelming demand, almost no foods on U.S. grocery shelves reveal their secret, genetically engineered ingredients. The first of it\'s kind--available both in print and as a mibile app for iPhone and Android--the CFS True Food Shoppers Guide was designed to help reclaim your right to know about the foods you are buying, and help you find and avoid GMO foods and ingredients.

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This week is the first congressional recess of Donald Trump’s presidency, and for many, it will be the first opportunity to speak directly with your members of Congress. During the recess, members of Congress will be working in their home districts, and many of them are holding town hall meetings, events, and open office hours.

Center for Food Safety strongly believes in active participation at all levels of government because we the people are who they serve. These town hall meetings are especially valuable in our current political climate, as many people have had a hard time getting through to their representatives’ offices – phone lines have often been busy and voice mail boxes full. We encourage you to take the opportunity to interact with your elected official, voice your very valuable concerns, and get answers to your questions. 

We know it can sometimes be intimidating to attend these meetings, let alone speak up and ask a question, so to make it easier for you we have created a simple toolkit to help you look up your representatives, find a town hall meeting near you, and target your questions on issue areas that are of importance to you.

Get Your Town Hall Guide

Public pressure works! Just a few days ago, Andy Puzder, fast food titan and Trump\'s pick for Labor Secretary, withdrew his nomination under growing pressure from constituents.

Now more than ever it is imperative to be engaged and informed on the various issues facing our food system and the environment. That’s why CFS has also just launched a new “Trump Watch” page to help watchdog the administration’s actions on food, agriculture, and the environment. This is your hub for all the latest news, actions and blogs on the cabinet members, executive orders, and regulatory policies that affect the food movement. Please check it out and be sure to share it with your friends!

The Town Hall Project is keeping an up-to-date list of town hall meetings and open office hours across the country. Find one near you and get active!

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Climate Change is such an enormous and unprecedented problem that it may seem like  our individual efforts can’t possibly make a difference. But, they do, especially on the food front. Think about it: if we are fortunate, most of us eat three times a da.', ), ), ), 'bid_3611' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Related Issue 3', 'block_type' => 'Relation', 'block_alias' => 'rel3', 'post_id' => '42881', 'content' => array ( 0 => array ( 'custom_title' => '', 'page_id' => '311', 'name1' => 'GE Foods', 'section_name1' => 'Issues', 'page_link' => '/issues/311/ge-foods', 'lead_img' => 'airplane-465619_1920_33778_51645.jpg', 'rich_snippet' => '

The genetic engineering of plants and animals is looming as one of the greatest and most intractable environmental challenges of the 21st Century. 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During the recess, members of Congress will be working in their home districts, and many o.', 'page' => array ( 'id' => '4839', 'SECTION_ID' => '186', 'PARENT_ID' => '0', 'BLOCK_ID' => '0', 'order' => '80', 'visible' => '1', 'feature' => '0', 'hide' => '0', 'name1' => 'Recess of Resistance: Town Hall Toolkit & Trump Watch', 'url' => 'recess-of-resistance-town-hall-toolkit-and-trump-watch', 'bitly' => 'http://bit.ly/2miKaQK', 'lead_img' => 'istock-601923278_05205.jpg', 'meta_title' => 'Center for Food Safety | Blog | | Recess of Resistance: Town Hall Toolkit & Trump Watch', 'meta_desc' => 'Recess of Resistance: Town Hall Toolkit & Trump Watch', 'meta_img' => 'istock-601923278_05205.jpg', 'meta_json' => '', 'update_meta_title' => '1', 'update_meta_desc' => '0', 'update_meta_img' => '0', 'update_meta_json' => '0', 'start_time' => '0', 'end_time' => '0', ), 'section' => array ( 'id' => '186', 'PARENT_ID' => '486', 'PAGE_ID' => '0', 'name1' => 'Blog', 'url' => 'blog', 'hide' => '0', 'order' => '2', ), 'bid_5960' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Subtitle', 'block_type' => 'Plain Text', 'block_alias' => 'subtitle', 'post_id' => '42875', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'bid_5958' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Show Hero', 'block_type' => 'Checkbox', 'block_alias' => 'hide_hero', 'post_id' => '42877', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'bid_1089' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Category', 'block_type' => 'Grouping', 'block_alias' => 'cat', 'post_id' => '42882', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'bid_1099' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Author', 'block_type' => 'Grouping', 'block_alias' => 'author', 'post_id' => '42883', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'bid_2295' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Keywords', 'block_type' => 'Tags', 'block_alias' => 'tags', 'post_id' => '42884', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'bid_1102' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Hash Tag', 'block_type' => 'Grouping', 'block_alias' => 'hash_tag', 'post_id' => '42888', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'bid_5598' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Hide', 'block_type' => 'Hide - In \'page\' table', 'block_alias' => '', 'post_id' => '42892', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'bid_5838' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Scheduler', 'block_type' => 'Schedule', 'block_alias' => 'scheduler', 'post_id' => '42892', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'bid_5956' => array ( 'block_name' => 'Unique Url', 'block_type' => 'Unique Root URL', 'block_alias' => 'unique_url', 'post_id' => '42892', 'content' => array ( ), ), 'alias' => array ( 'title' => 'Recess of Resistance: Town Hall Toolkit & Trump Watch', 'desc_short' => '', 'desc' => '

This week is the first congressional recess of Donald Trump’s presidency, and for many, it will be the first opportunity to speak directly with your members of Congress. During the recess, members of Congress will be working in their home districts, and many of them are holding town hall meetings, events, and open office hours.

Center for Food Safety strongly believes in active participation at all levels of government because we the people are who they serve. These town hall meetings are especially valuable in our current political climate, as many people have had a hard time getting through to their representatives’ offices – phone lines have often been busy and voice mail boxes full. We encourage you to take the opportunity to interact with your elected official, voice your very valuable concerns, and get answers to your questions. 

We know it can sometimes be intimidating to attend these meetings, let alone speak up and ask a question, so to make it easier for you we have created a simple toolkit to help you look up your representatives, find a town hall meeting near you, and target your questions on issue areas that are of importance to you.

Get Your Town Hall Guide

Public pressure works! Just a few days ago, Andy Puzder, fast food titan and Trump\'s pick for Labor Secretary, withdrew his nomination under growing pressure from constituents.

Now more than ever it is imperative to be engaged and informed on the various issues facing our food system and the environment. That’s why CFS has also just launched a new “Trump Watch” page to help watchdog the administration’s actions on food, agriculture, and the environment. This is your hub for all the latest news, actions and blogs on the cabinet members, executive orders, and regulatory policies that affect the food movement. Please check it out and be sure to share it with your friends!

The Town Hall Project is keeping an up-to-date list of town hall meetings and open office hours across the country. Find one near you and get active!

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The U.S. Constitution protects the public interest, but we all need to play a role.

One of government’s primary jobs, perhaps its highest mission, is to protect and to serve the public interest. While public interest is a legal term of art, most broadly it refers public welfare at large, rather than that of a private company or individual. It encompasses public goods, commodities or services that are provided without profit to all members of a society. Think things like public schools (education), fire and police departments (safety), and military (security). In the environmental context, public goods include clean air and water, national parks and forests, and beaches/coastlines. Such natural resources are conserved in the public trust for all and for future generations; any use of them must be in the public interest.

The U.S. Constitution’s first sentence refers to the public interest principle, proclaiming that our government was formed to “promote the general welfare”. The general welfare includes everyday things we take for granted, like fixing potholes to avoid accidents, and keeping streets free of filth to avoid disease. It also means basic things like keeping our water and homes free of lead contamination that can cause brain damage. It means more structural things like protecting farm workers and their children from the impacts of toxic pesticides, and more long-term, programmatic missions, like feeding the children of families living in poverty through school lunches, so they can get the most from their education. And it means taking conservation actions, like working to save dwindling species like the monarch butterfly – not because of a profit motive, but because of the awesome natural beauty of their migration, and the incalculable intrinsic worth of all species. 

The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment’s so-called “takings” clause also illustrates how the public interest “trumps” other private interests. It really should be called the “giving” clause, because it grants the government the ability to give a landowner full compensation for their private land, if the government decides the community needs it for a public purpose instead. So for example, if the government wanted to take a Trump golf course and turn it into a school for immigrant children, the Constitution permits that, elevating public purpose over private profit. Beyond the Constitution itself, not surprisingly given its fundamental underlying role, there are thousands of places in U.S. law requiring the government to account for the public interest, in various contexts, ranging from the Freedom of Information Act, to the Toxic Substances Control Act, to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Heck, even something as arcane as the Coast Guard’s management of drawbridges must include weighing the public interest. These are just a few examples.

The Trump Administration says it wants to run the country like a business. And Trump’s Cabinet picks show they are eager to tear down any separation between private industry interests and government’s traditional role. The CEO of Exxon Mobil, an oil and gas giant fighting to control the last of our planet’s dwindling petroleum resources, now as our country’s highest foreign affairs diplomat. The owner of Hardees and Carl’s Junior, fast food chains that epitomize what is horribly wrong with our industrial food system and how we treat working people, as the Secretary of Labor. A climate denier lawyer who sued EPA at the bidding of fossil fuel industry (literally copying their wishes word for word) to lead EPA. Rick Perry, another enthusiastic supporter of the oil and gas industry, to run the Energy Department – an agency which, as a 2012 anti-government presidential candidate, he said he would abolish. And this is just the start. This is regulatory capture on steroids: that is, governmental failure that occurs when governmental agencies, created to act in the public interest, instead advance the economic goals of the industry they are charged with regulating. A classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse.

The fundamental, glaring flaw in Trump’s approach is that governments are not businesses and cannot be run like them, with primary goals of market efficiency and economic profit. Rather, governments must account for and make decisions based on values and principles that cannot be monetized, those that the market system does not account for: the public interest, public goods, and the public trust, among them. Yet these values are now to be exiled.

And so in the year to come and beyond, it falls more than ever to the public, the states, and nonprofit, non-governmental organizations to step into this breach of duty, and protect the public interest, in exile. This happens through public pressure and protest; public and policymaker education; legislation, particularly at the state and local level; and litigation, challenging Trump administration decisions that discard the public interest. Our nonprofit organization, along with many others, will be front and center in this battle. The stakes, for the health of our children and our planet, for the future of our food, could not be higher. The good news is that we stand tall and march forward knowing that the foundational principles of our Constitution, of our laws, and of good government, are on our side. Please stand with us. See you all at the breach, and thanks for your important work.

Originally published on Alternet, Jan. 11, 2017.

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The genetic engineering of plants and animals is looming as one of the greatest and most intractable environmental challenges of the 21st Century. Already, this novel technology has invaded our grocery stores and our kitchen pantries by fundamentally altering some of our most important staple food crops.

By being able to take the genetic material from one organism and insert it into the permanent genetic code of another, biotechnologists have engineered numerous novel creations, such as potatoes with bacteria genes, “super” pigs with human growth genes, fish with cattle growth genes, tomatoes with flounder genes, and thousands of other plants, animals and insects. At an alarming rate, these creations are now being patented and released into the environment.

Currently, up to 85 percent of U.S. corn is genetically engineered as are 91 percent of soybeans and 88 percent of cotton (cottonseed oil is often used in food products). According to industry, up to 95% of sugar beets are now GE. It has been estimated that upwards of 70 percent of processed foods on supermarket shelves–from soda to soup, crackers to condiments–contain genetically engineered ingredients.

A number of studies over the past decade have revealed that genetically engineered foods can pose serious risks to humans, domesticated animals, wildlife and the environment. Human health effects can include higher risks of toxicity, allergenicity, antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression and cancer. As for environmental impacts, the use of genetic engineering in agriculture will lead to uncontrolled biological pollution, threatening numerous microbial, plant and animal species with extinction, and the potential contamination of all non-genetically engineered life forms with novel and possibly hazardous genetic material.

Despite these long-term and wide-ranging risks, Congress has yet to pass a single law intended to manage them responsibly. This despite the fact that our regulatory agencies have failed to adequately address the human health or environmental impacts of genetic engineering. On the federal level, eight agencies attempt to regulate biotechnology using 12 different statutes or laws that were written long before genetically engineered food, animals and insects became a reality. The result has been a regulatory tangle, where any regulation even exists, as existing laws are grossly manipulated to manage threats they were never intended to regulate. Among many bizarre examples of these regulatory anomalies is the current attempt by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate genetically engineered fish as “new animal drugs.” Yet, at the same time, the FDA claims it has no jurisdiction over genetically engineered pet fish like the Glofish.

The haphazard and negligent agency regulation of biotechnology has been a disaster for consumers and the environment. Unsuspecting consumers by the tens of millions are being allowed to purchase and consume unlabeled genetically engineered foods, despite a finding by FDA scientists that these foods could pose serious risks. And new genetically engineered crops are being approved by federal agencies despite admissions that they will contaminate native and conventional plants and pose other significant new environmental threats. In short, there has been a complete abdication of any responsible legislative or regulatory oversight of genetically engineered foods. Clearly, now is a critical time to challenge the government’s negligence in managing the human health and environmental threats from biotechnology.

CFS seeks to halt the approval, commercialization or release of any new genetically engineered crops until they have been thoroughly tested and found safe for human health and the environment. CFS maintains that any foods that already contain genetically engineered ingredients must be clearly labeled. Additionally, CFS advocates the containment and reduction of existing genetically engineered crops.

', ), 'lead_img' => 'airplane-465619_1920_33778_51645.jpg', 'gallery' => array ( 0 => array ( 0 => 'airplane-465619_1920_33778_51645.jpg', 1 => 'After Cursory Review, EPA Proposes Dramatic Expansion of Toxic Pesticide Blend Enlist Duo', 2 => '

The Environmental Protection Agency has reapproved and proposed a dramatic expansion of the use of the toxic pesticide Enlist Duo after only a cursory review of troubling data showing the two chemicals in the pesticide combine to have “synergistic” effects that are potentially harmful to endangered species and the environment. If approved the pesticide cocktail could be used on corn, soy and cotton in 35 states — up from 16 states where the product was previously approved for just corn and soy.

', 3 => 'http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/4559/after-cursory-review-epa-proposes-dramatic-expansionof-toxic-pesticide-blend-enlist-duo', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 1 => array ( 0 => 'jacksonvictory_59877.jpg', 1 => 'Victory! Judge Upholds Jackson County’s Ban on Genetically Engineered Crops', 2 => '

Family farmers and other supporters of Jackson County’s precedent-setting ban on genetically engineered (GE) crop cultivation are celebrating a federal court ruling upholding the legality of Jackson County’s ordinance. The ruling released this afternoon by Federal District Court Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke was a resounding victory for Our Family Farms Coalition (OFFC) and Center for Food Safety (CFS), which intervened in the case to defend the ban along with two local family farmers.  Lawyers with Center for Food Safety and the Earthrise Law Center based at Lewis and Clark Law School jointly represented the intervening parties.

', 3 => 'http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/3953/judge-upholds-jackson-countys-ban-on-genetically-engineered-crops', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 2 => array ( 0 => 'gefujiapple_twandfblink2_notextfw_91639.png', 1 => 'Tell Burger King to Reject GE Apples', 2 => '

McDonald\'s, Wendy\'s, and Gerber have already indicated that they don\'t plan to use these GE apples. Burger King could be next.

Sign the petition: Tell Burger King to commit to keeping GE apples out of its meals.

', 3 => 'http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=19365', 4 => '', 5 => '', 6 => '', ), 3 => array ( 0 => 'shoppersguide_mobile2_53822.jpg', 1 => 'Get your free CFS Shoppers Guide to Avoiding GE Foods!', 2 => '

Which supermarket foods are genetically engineered? This is probably the most urgent question the public has about these novel foods. But despite overwhelming demand, almost no foods on U.S. grocery shelves reveal their secret, genetically engineered ingredients. The first of it\'s kind--available both in print and as a mibile app for iPhone and Android--the CFS True Food Shoppers Guide was designed to help reclaim your right to know about the foods you are buying, and help you find and avoid GMO foods and ingredients.

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There’s more good news in the pollinators and popcorn world, and it’s just in time for National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. We’re excited to share that a third company, Preferred Popcorn, a fully farmer-owned company that provides popcorn to popular popcorn brands and movie theatre concessions, has taken bold steps toward removing bee-toxic insecticides from their popcorn supply chain.

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Want to join us in standing up for bees? Use your purchasing power to support popcorn companies that are doing the right thing for bees and the environment. Our Guide to Bee-Friendly Popcorn can help you get started!

 

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year, but we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides. That’s why we’re calling on Orville Redenbacher—the biggest brand in the popcorn industry—to source its popcorn from seeds that are NOT coated in these harmful chemicals.

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. But we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides.Bees are dying at alarming rates, and that scientists have identified a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a prime culprit in these drastic population losses. Unfortunately, the popcorn industry uses bee-killing chemicals on their seeds, too. Watch the animation and take action!

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Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity—joined by Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Prof. Lincoln Brower—have just filed a groundbreaking legal action to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sign the petition to extend ESA protection to monarchs!

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'parent_url' => '', ), ), 'checkbox' => array ( 0 => '1', 1 => '0', 2 => '1', ), 'url' => '/issues/304/pollinators-and-pesticides', ), ), 2 => array ( 'custom' => array ( 0 => '', ), 'page_id' => '4571', 'basic' => array ( 'page_id' => '4571', 'root_url' => 'media', 'root' => 'Media', 'text' => array ( 0 => 'The Food Safety Trade-Off: Why it is So Important a Progressive Victory Stopped the TPP', 1 => 'By: Debbie Barker, International Programs Director', 2 => '#TPP + #Transpacificpartnership', ), 'rich' => array ( 0 => '

New Report from CFS shows how trade agreements like TPP serve up an “unsavory dinner”

Most discussion about trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, focuses on jobs and economic indicators, but there is little discussion about the impacts on our dinner plate. Although it appears that the U.S. Congress will not ratify the TPP, current trade agreements pose a threat to food safety and public health. And future trade rules under a Trump Administration could also likely include trade rules modeled on agreements like the TPP.

TPP and other trade agreements contain expedited and relaxed trade rules that make it easier for goods to be traded among partner countries, despite the risks – food safety and otherwise – that may be involved. Thanks to years of opposition and protest from progressive organizations and coalitions, including Center for Food Safety (CFS), TPP will not go into effect.

Given some of the grave implications for farmers, food safety and public health, this is a huge victory for the food movement. But it is not the end. We must continue to oppose deals like the TPP that have the potential to wreak real havoc on farmers, farm workers, and our food system; continue implementing the Food Modernization Act; and advocate for rigorous Food and Drug Administration (FDA) border inspections. A new report from CFS, TPP Serves Up an Unsavory Dinner, illustrates how trade agreements such as the TPP and our current lax food safety regulations impact what’s on your plate:

  1. 1) Toxins and drugs and hairs, oh my: Food imports already coming from TPP countries have been found to contain residues from drugs that are illegal in the U.S., toxic contaminants, salmonella and other pathogens, and additional unsavory substances such as rodent hairs. 
  2. 2) Inspector, who? Expedited trade rules in the TPP will increase food imports, yet provide no resources to expand food inspection at the border. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspects less than two percent of foods coming into the U.S.!
  3. 3) Follow the $$... Producers in several TPP countries are able to sell products more cheaply than in the U.S., in part because of lax or non-existent safety, quality, and inspection standards and practices. This puts U.S. farmers and producers out of business.
  4. 4) Oh the (in)humanity! Labor trafficking is a well-documented practice in some TPP countries, particularly in the seafood industry, where labor conditions are brutal, dangerous, and inhumane.[1]
  5. 5) See the forest through the trees: Unsustainable agricultural and food production practices in some TPP countries gravely impact the environment. For example, some TPP countries are destroying mangrove regions to make way for fish and shrimp farms. Mangroves are central to protecting coastal zones from dramatic storms and weather, and also play a vital role in water filtration and carbon sequestration.

How can we avoid having our food supply, health, environment, and food and farm workers impacted by TPP and similar trade deals?

Start by getting educated! Take a deeper dive into our new report, TPP Serves Up An Unsavory Dinner, where you can read some disturbing case studies involving toxic honey, tainted meat and produce, unsafe seafood, sullied spices, and rice ridden with pesticides. Even though the TPP will not be enacted, this report outlines how current food imports pose threats to food safety and public health.

TPP was not the model of a trade agreement for our food, farmers and future. Center for Food Safety remains dedicated to ensuring that trade rules are rooted in respect for farmers and farmworkers, and the health of our planet and people.



[1] http://uscatfish.com/asian-seafood-producers-use-slaves-coerced-labor-supply-u-s/ 

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The U.S. Constitution protects the public interest, but we all need to play a role.

One of government’s primary jobs, perhaps its highest mission, is to protect and to serve the public interest. While public interest is a legal term of art, most broadly it refers public welfare at large, rather than that of a private company or individual. It encompasses public goods, commodities or services that are provided without profit to all members of a society. Think things like public schools (education), fire and police departments (safety), and military (security). In the environmental context, public goods include clean air and water, national parks and forests, and beaches/coastlines. Such natural resources are conserved in the public trust for all and for future generations; any use of them must be in the public interest.

The U.S. Constitution’s first sentence refers to the public interest principle, proclaiming that our government was formed to “promote the general welfare”. The general welfare includes everyday things we take for granted, like fixing potholes to avoid accidents, and keeping streets free of filth to avoid disease. It also means basic things like keeping our water and homes free of lead contamination that can cause brain damage. It means more structural things like protecting farm workers and their children from the impacts of toxic pesticides, and more long-term, programmatic missions, like feeding the children of families living in poverty through school lunches, so they can get the most from their education. And it means taking conservation actions, like working to save dwindling species like the monarch butterfly – not because of a profit motive, but because of the awesome natural beauty of their migration, and the incalculable intrinsic worth of all species. 

The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment’s so-called “takings” clause also illustrates how the public interest “trumps” other private interests. It really should be called the “giving” clause, because it grants the government the ability to give a landowner full compensation for their private land, if the government decides the community needs it for a public purpose instead. So for example, if the government wanted to take a Trump golf course and turn it into a school for immigrant children, the Constitution permits that, elevating public purpose over private profit. Beyond the Constitution itself, not surprisingly given its fundamental underlying role, there are thousands of places in U.S. law requiring the government to account for the public interest, in various contexts, ranging from the Freedom of Information Act, to the Toxic Substances Control Act, to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Heck, even something as arcane as the Coast Guard’s management of drawbridges must include weighing the public interest. These are just a few examples.

The Trump Administration says it wants to run the country like a business. And Trump’s Cabinet picks show they are eager to tear down any separation between private industry interests and government’s traditional role. The CEO of Exxon Mobil, an oil and gas giant fighting to control the last of our planet’s dwindling petroleum resources, now as our country’s highest foreign affairs diplomat. The owner of Hardees and Carl’s Junior, fast food chains that epitomize what is horribly wrong with our industrial food system and how we treat working people, as the Secretary of Labor. A climate denier lawyer who sued EPA at the bidding of fossil fuel industry (literally copying their wishes word for word) to lead EPA. Rick Perry, another enthusiastic supporter of the oil and gas industry, to run the Energy Department – an agency which, as a 2012 anti-government presidential candidate, he said he would abolish. And this is just the start. This is regulatory capture on steroids: that is, governmental failure that occurs when governmental agencies, created to act in the public interest, instead advance the economic goals of the industry they are charged with regulating. A classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse.

The fundamental, glaring flaw in Trump’s approach is that governments are not businesses and cannot be run like them, with primary goals of market efficiency and economic profit. Rather, governments must account for and make decisions based on values and principles that cannot be monetized, those that the market system does not account for: the public interest, public goods, and the public trust, among them. Yet these values are now to be exiled.

And so in the year to come and beyond, it falls more than ever to the public, the states, and nonprofit, non-governmental organizations to step into this breach of duty, and protect the public interest, in exile. This happens through public pressure and protest; public and policymaker education; legislation, particularly at the state and local level; and litigation, challenging Trump administration decisions that discard the public interest. Our nonprofit organization, along with many others, will be front and center in this battle. The stakes, for the health of our children and our planet, for the future of our food, could not be higher. The good news is that we stand tall and march forward knowing that the foundational principles of our Constitution, of our laws, and of good government, are on our side. Please stand with us. See you all at the breach, and thanks for your important work.

Originally published on Alternet, Jan. 11, 2017.

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The U.S. Constitution protects the public interest, but we all need to play a role.

One of government’s primary jobs, perhaps its highest mission, is to protect and to serve the public interest. While public interest is a legal term of art, most broadly it refers public welfare at large, rather than that of a private company or individual. It encompasses public goods, commodities or services that are provided without profit to all members of a society. Think things like public schools (education), fire and police departments (safety), and military (security). In the environmental context, public goods include clean air and water, national parks and forests, and beaches/coastlines. Such natural resources are conserved in the public trust for all and for future generations; any use of them must be in the public interest.

The U.S. Constitution’s first sentence refers to the public interest principle, proclaiming that our government was formed to “promote the general welfare”. The general welfare includes everyday things we take for granted, like fixing potholes to avoid accidents, and keeping streets free of filth to avoid disease. It also means basic things like keeping our water and homes free of lead contamination that can cause brain damage. It means more structural things like protecting farm workers and their children from the impacts of toxic pesticides, and more long-term, programmatic missions, like feeding the children of families living in poverty through school lunches, so they can get the most from their education. And it means taking conservation actions, like working to save dwindling species like the monarch butterfly – not because of a profit motive, but because of the awesome natural beauty of their migration, and the incalculable intrinsic worth of all species. 

The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment’s so-called “takings” clause also illustrates how the public interest “trumps” other private interests. It really should be called the “giving” clause, because it grants the government the ability to give a landowner full compensation for their private land, if the government decides the community needs it for a public purpose instead. So for example, if the government wanted to take a Trump golf course and turn it into a school for immigrant children, the Constitution permits that, elevating public purpose over private profit. Beyond the Constitution itself, not surprisingly given its fundamental underlying role, there are thousands of places in U.S. law requiring the government to account for the public interest, in various contexts, ranging from the Freedom of Information Act, to the Toxic Substances Control Act, to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Heck, even something as arcane as the Coast Guard’s management of drawbridges must include weighing the public interest. These are just a few examples.

The Trump Administration says it wants to run the country like a business. And Trump’s Cabinet picks show they are eager to tear down any separation between private industry interests and government’s traditional role. The CEO of Exxon Mobil, an oil and gas giant fighting to control the last of our planet’s dwindling petroleum resources, now as our country’s highest foreign affairs diplomat. The owner of Hardees and Carl’s Junior, fast food chains that epitomize what is horribly wrong with our industrial food system and how we treat working people, as the Secretary of Labor. A climate denier lawyer who sued EPA at the bidding of fossil fuel industry (literally copying their wishes word for word) to lead EPA. Rick Perry, another enthusiastic supporter of the oil and gas industry, to run the Energy Department – an agency which, as a 2012 anti-government presidential candidate, he said he would abolish. And this is just the start. This is regulatory capture on steroids: that is, governmental failure that occurs when governmental agencies, created to act in the public interest, instead advance the economic goals of the industry they are charged with regulating. A classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse.

The fundamental, glaring flaw in Trump’s approach is that governments are not businesses and cannot be run like them, with primary goals of market efficiency and economic profit. Rather, governments must account for and make decisions based on values and principles that cannot be monetized, those that the market system does not account for: the public interest, public goods, and the public trust, among them. Yet these values are now to be exiled.

And so in the year to come and beyond, it falls more than ever to the public, the states, and nonprofit, non-governmental organizations to step into this breach of duty, and protect the public interest, in exile. This happens through public pressure and protest; public and policymaker education; legislation, particularly at the state and local level; and litigation, challenging Trump administration decisions that discard the public interest. Our nonprofit organization, along with many others, will be front and center in this battle. The stakes, for the health of our children and our planet, for the future of our food, could not be higher. The good news is that we stand tall and march forward knowing that the foundational principles of our Constitution, of our laws, and of good government, are on our side. Please stand with us. See you all at the breach, and thanks for your important work.

Originally published on Alternet, Jan. 11, 2017.

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Bee-toxic seeds are planted on nearly half of all U.S. cropland. These neonicotinoid-coated crop seeds are the largest single use of insecticides in the country and they are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Would you be surprised to learn that these same insecticides often provide no benefit to farmers – that their use can actually do more harm than any potential good? It’s true, and the data is outlined in Center for Food Safety’s new report, Net Loss. But as shocking as both of these facts may be, the most upsetting reality is that the EPA has the ability to fix both of these issues, but won’t. In fact, it is their job to address these problems through proper regulation – one that they’ve been failing miserably at.

Neonicotinoids (or, “neonics”, for short) are the most widely used insecticides in the world and they are highly toxic to bees and other pollinators. While neonics can be applied as sprays, soil drenches, trunk injections, and in other forms, the primary use of these chemicals is as a seed coating for annual field crops (like corn, soybeans, and cotton), planted on at least 150 million acres across the U.S. More alarming than the vast acreage that we’re using these products on is the fact that when used as a seed coating, much of the chemical doesn’t actually enter the crop itself. Depending on the crop, only about five percent [!] of the active chemical in the seed coating enters the plant – even this small amount delivers enough of a dose to make the plant highly toxic to bees. The remaining 95 percent of the chemical is left to pollute the environment through seed dust or soil contamination and water runoff – imagine the damage that does!

This widespread contamination allows myriad ways for bees and other pollinators to come into contact with these toxic chemicals. At the same time, hundreds of millions of acres of land and water have now become polluted with neonics—everything from wildflowers near crop fields, to countless species’ soil and ground habitats, to nearby surface and groundwater, and even freshwater and marine ecosystems. To top it all off, because neonic-coated seeds are planted year after year (despite their lack of efficacy) and the active ingredients have long half-lives in most soils, the chemicals swiftly build up in our lands and waters, often accumulating well-past safe thresholds.

Scientists have been documenting these issues extensively for years, and yet the EPA still refuses to properly regulate these toxic chemicals. Not only is the agency refusing to regulate the planting of coated seeds as a pesticide application, but it is failing to adequately assess the harms associated with neonic uses, and instead, only focusing on purported benefits. This is a huge problem, especially as evidence continues to pile up showing that uses of neonic seed coatings are often completely unnecessary.

As CFS’s new report, Net Loss, highlights, numerous studies show that the yields for common crops do not increase with the use of neonic seed coatings. Thanks to new data out of the European Union, this is confirmed by comparing crop production in the EU, which suspended most of the neonic seed coatings in 2013. The production of those crops did not suffer and, for most of the years since the 2013 moratorium, crop production has actually been higher than it was before. In addition to this data, agricultural scientists and other experts in the United States and the United Kingdom have issued extensive new studies and reviews on the lack of overall effectiveness of neonic seed coatings.

So what is the significance of this new data and what is EPA’s role to play? Pesticide seed coatings are regulated by EPA under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which directs the agency to evaluate whether the use of any pesticide proposed for registration presents “any unreasonable risk to man or the environment, taking into account the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits”. As CFS has pointed out to the agency time and time again, the cases of documented harms from uses of seed coatings continue to increase, while the benefits remain to be seen. These harms include:

It is clear from mounting evidence that neonic seed coatings often provide little to no benefits to farmers, yet their use comes with serious consequences to the environment and food system. This leaves us with one final question: why is EPA failing to act on these chemicals? EPA should suspend all neonicotinoid seed coating product registrations as required under FIFRA until the costs and benefits are adequately reviewed. Our pollinators, farmers, food system and environment deserve better from the agency charged with protecting them.

---

Join us in demanding that EPA immediately suspend uses of bee-toxic neonic seed coatings!

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There’s more good news in the pollinators and popcorn world, and it’s just in time for National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. We’re excited to share that a third company, Preferred Popcorn, a fully farmer-owned company that provides popcorn to popular popcorn brands and movie theatre concessions, has taken bold steps toward removing bee-toxic insecticides from their popcorn supply chain.

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Want to join us in standing up for bees? Use your purchasing power to support popcorn companies that are doing the right thing for bees and the environment. Our Guide to Bee-Friendly Popcorn can help you get started!

 

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year, but we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides. That’s why we’re calling on Orville Redenbacher—the biggest brand in the popcorn industry—to source its popcorn from seeds that are NOT coated in these harmful chemicals.

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. But we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides.Bees are dying at alarming rates, and that scientists have identified a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a prime culprit in these drastic population losses. Unfortunately, the popcorn industry uses bee-killing chemicals on their seeds, too. Watch the animation and take action!

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Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity—joined by Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Prof. Lincoln Brower—have just filed a groundbreaking legal action to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sign the petition to extend ESA protection to monarchs!

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Download the Report

Net Loss—Economic Efficacy and Costs of Neonicotinoid Insecticides Used as Seed Coatings: Updates from the United States and Europe, shows that the economic and environmental losses associated with widespread overuse of certain pesticide seed coatings greatly outweigh potential gains. The report is an update to CFS’s 2013 report Heavy Costs. It examines the “gross overuse” of neonicotinoids, or “neonics”, as prophylactic insecticidal seed coatings, which have long been recognized as causing both acute honey bee kills and chronic long-term damages to colonies and to beekeeper livelihoods. The report comes in advance of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) completion of its registration reviews for several neonicotinoid chemicals, during which time the agency will release new risk assessments and decide whether to cancel or modify current uses of the chemicals.

Net Loss presents numerous studies that show farmers’ yields for common crops do not increase with the use of neonic seed coatings. This is confirmed by comparing crop production in the European Union, which banned most of the neonic seed coatings in 2013. The production of those crops did not suffer and, for most of the years since the 2013 ban, production has actually been higher than it was before. 

The report summarizes 15 key, recently published studies from 2015 and 2016 on harm to honey bees, wild bees, water quality, butterfly populations, and other impacts associated with coated seeds, as well as with other neonic uses. To curb the extensive damage from overuse of neonics as presented in the report, CFS recommends that EPA adopt a moratorium on their prophylactic use as crop seed coatings, with an immediate focus on coated soybean seeds. CFS further asserts that the E.U.’s neonic ban should be continued.

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Bee-toxic seeds are planted on nearly half of all U.S. cropland. These neonicotinoid-coated crop seeds are the largest single use of insecticides in the country and they are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Would you be surprised to learn that these same insecticides often provide no benefit to farmers – that their use can actually do more harm than any potential good? It’s true, and the data is outlined in Center for Food Safety’s new report, Net Loss. But as shocking as both of these facts may be, the most upsetting reality is that the EPA has the ability to fix both of these issues, but won’t. In fact, it is their job to address these problems through proper regulation – one that they’ve been failing miserably at.

Neonicotinoids (or, “neonics”, for short) are the most widely used insecticides in the world and they are highly toxic to bees and other pollinators. While neonics can be applied as sprays, soil drenches, trunk injections, and in other forms, the primary use of these chemicals is as a seed coating for annual field crops (like corn, soybeans, and cotton), planted on at least 150 million acres across the U.S. More alarming than the vast acreage that we’re using these products on is the fact that when used as a seed coating, much of the chemical doesn’t actually enter the crop itself. Depending on the crop, only about five percent [!] of the active chemical in the seed coating enters the plant – even this small amount delivers enough of a dose to make the plant highly toxic to bees. The remaining 95 percent of the chemical is left to pollute the environment through seed dust or soil contamination and water runoff – imagine the damage that does!

This widespread contamination allows myriad ways for bees and other pollinators to come into contact with these toxic chemicals. At the same time, hundreds of millions of acres of land and water have now become polluted with neonics—everything from wildflowers near crop fields, to countless species’ soil and ground habitats, to nearby surface and groundwater, and even freshwater and marine ecosystems. To top it all off, because neonic-coated seeds are planted year after year (despite their lack of efficacy) and the active ingredients have long half-lives in most soils, the chemicals swiftly build up in our lands and waters, often accumulating well-past safe thresholds.

Scientists have been documenting these issues extensively for years, and yet the EPA still refuses to properly regulate these toxic chemicals. Not only is the agency refusing to regulate the planting of coated seeds as a pesticide application, but it is failing to adequately assess the harms associated with neonic uses, and instead, only focusing on purported benefits. This is a huge problem, especially as evidence continues to pile up showing that uses of neonic seed coatings are often completely unnecessary.

As CFS’s new report, Net Loss, highlights, numerous studies show that the yields for common crops do not increase with the use of neonic seed coatings. Thanks to new data out of the European Union, this is confirmed by comparing crop production in the EU, which suspended most of the neonic seed coatings in 2013. The production of those crops did not suffer and, for most of the years since the 2013 moratorium, crop production has actually been higher than it was before. In addition to this data, agricultural scientists and other experts in the United States and the United Kingdom have issued extensive new studies and reviews on the lack of overall effectiveness of neonic seed coatings.

So what is the significance of this new data and what is EPA’s role to play? Pesticide seed coatings are regulated by EPA under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which directs the agency to evaluate whether the use of any pesticide proposed for registration presents “any unreasonable risk to man or the environment, taking into account the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits”. As CFS has pointed out to the agency time and time again, the cases of documented harms from uses of seed coatings continue to increase, while the benefits remain to be seen. These harms include:

It is clear from mounting evidence that neonic seed coatings often provide little to no benefits to farmers, yet their use comes with serious consequences to the environment and food system. This leaves us with one final question: why is EPA failing to act on these chemicals? EPA should suspend all neonicotinoid seed coating product registrations as required under FIFRA until the costs and benefits are adequately reviewed. Our pollinators, farmers, food system and environment deserve better from the agency charged with protecting them.

---

Join us in demanding that EPA immediately suspend uses of bee-toxic neonic seed coatings!

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Bee-toxic seeds are planted on nearly half of all U.S. cropland. These neonicotinoid-coated crop seeds are the largest single use of insecticides in the country and they are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Would you be surprised to learn that these same insecticides often provide no benefit to farmers – that their use can actually do more harm than any potential good? It’s true, and the data is outlined in Center for Food Safety’s new report, Net Loss. But as shocking as both of these facts may be, the most upsetting reality is that the EPA has the ability to fix both of these issues, but won’t. In fact, it is their job to address these problems through proper regulation – one that they’ve been failing miserably at.

Neonicotinoids (or, “neonics”, for short) are the most widely used insecticides in the world and they are highly toxic to bees and other pollinators. While neonics can be applied as sprays, soil drenches, trunk injections, and in other forms, the primary use of these chemicals is as a seed coating for annual field crops (like corn, soybeans, and cotton), planted on at least 150 million acres across the U.S. More alarming than the vast acreage that we’re using these products on is the fact that when used as a seed coating, much of the chemical doesn’t actually enter the crop itself. Depending on the crop, only about five percent [!] of the active chemical in the seed coating enters the plant – even this small amount delivers enough of a dose to make the plant highly toxic to bees. The remaining 95 percent of the chemical is left to pollute the environment through seed dust or soil contamination and water runoff – imagine the damage that does!

This widespread contamination allows myriad ways for bees and other pollinators to come into contact with these toxic chemicals. At the same time, hundreds of millions of acres of land and water have now become polluted with neonics—everything from wildflowers near crop fields, to countless species’ soil and ground habitats, to nearby surface and groundwater, and even freshwater and marine ecosystems. To top it all off, because neonic-coated seeds are planted year after year (despite their lack of efficacy) and the active ingredients have long half-lives in most soils, the chemicals swiftly build up in our lands and waters, often accumulating well-past safe thresholds.

Scientists have been documenting these issues extensively for years, and yet the EPA still refuses to properly regulate these toxic chemicals. Not only is the agency refusing to regulate the planting of coated seeds as a pesticide application, but it is failing to adequately assess the harms associated with neonic uses, and instead, only focusing on purported benefits. This is a huge problem, especially as evidence continues to pile up showing that uses of neonic seed coatings are often completely unnecessary.

As CFS’s new report, Net Loss, highlights, numerous studies show that the yields for common crops do not increase with the use of neonic seed coatings. Thanks to new data out of the European Union, this is confirmed by comparing crop production in the EU, which suspended most of the neonic seed coatings in 2013. The production of those crops did not suffer and, for most of the years since the 2013 moratorium, crop production has actually been higher than it was before. In addition to this data, agricultural scientists and other experts in the United States and the United Kingdom have issued extensive new studies and reviews on the lack of overall effectiveness of neonic seed coatings.

So what is the significance of this new data and what is EPA’s role to play? Pesticide seed coatings are regulated by EPA under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which directs the agency to evaluate whether the use of any pesticide proposed for registration presents “any unreasonable risk to man or the environment, taking into account the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits”. As CFS has pointed out to the agency time and time again, the cases of documented harms from uses of seed coatings continue to increase, while the benefits remain to be seen. These harms include:

It is clear from mounting evidence that neonic seed coatings often provide little to no benefits to farmers, yet their use comes with serious consequences to the environment and food system. This leaves us with one final question: why is EPA failing to act on these chemicals? EPA should suspend all neonicotinoid seed coating product registrations as required under FIFRA until the costs and benefits are adequately reviewed. Our pollinators, farmers, food system and environment deserve better from the agency charged with protecting them.

---

Join us in demanding that EPA immediately suspend uses of bee-toxic neonic seed coatings!

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It’s that time of year when we gather together with friends and family to share in the bounty of the season, reflect on the past year and think about how grateful we are for each other and for the gifts of the harvest. We here at CFS are certainly grateful for the support of hundreds of thousands of members who help us in our mission to create a more just and sustainable food system. We will be thinking about that as we sit down at our Thanksgiving tables, but we’ll also be thinking about a few other things… 

Bee-ing thankful for pollinators!

While you may be familiar with how much preparation it takes to ready a holiday meal, you may not be aware of all the behind-the-scenes work that bees have done before fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs even make it to your kitchen. Apples, cranberries, squash, sweet potatoes, beans—these are just a few Thanksgiving table favorites, all of which rely on bees for pollination. Unfortunately, honey bees and other native bees and pollinators are being negatively impacted by the widespread use of toxic insecticides—so much so that we are seeing historic colony loss and population declines. So this Thanksgiving, learn how you can bee-thankful and help protect pollinators!

Drug-free Turkeys

Many traditional holiday feasts feature large fowl, notably turkeys and roast chickens. But many large-scale livestock producers over-use and abuse antibiotics and other drugs as growth-promoters and to make up for unsanitary poultry rearing conditions. In fact, you may be getting an extra side dish with your turkey that you didn’t bargain for: a risky drug called ractopamine. Ractopamine is a growth enhancing drug that’s added to turkey feed—as well as the feed of pigs and cattle—to increase their muscle mass. But bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Ractopamine raises significant food safety and animal welfare concerns. It is connected to “downed” animals, muscular tremors, cardiovascular dysfunction and increased aggressive behavior in animals. The FDA has allowed its use without comprehensive scientific studies that document the risks of the drug to human and animal health. To ensure your turkey is drug-free, look for organic, free-range fowl.

Cutting food waste

Celebrating the plenty of the season is a beautiful thing, but what we sometimes fail to consider is that enough is plenty. “Leftovers” are especially cherished during the holidays—when else is digging into stuffing and pumpkin pie for breakfast appropriate—but buying, cooking and eating to excess isn’t good for your health or for the environment. According to Food Tank, between Thanksgiving and the New Year, the United States will waste about five million tons of food. And where does all of that food waste go? Not to the needy. Food is the single largest component of municipal solid waste reaching America’s landfills and incinerators. This holiday, keep climate change in mind as you prepare your meals, and think about creative, nutritious ways to re-use what is left over!

How to support communities in need

People in many communities around the country and around the world won’t be worrying about food waste this time of year; instead, their worry will be where they might find their next meal. Food insecurity impacts millions of people each year. According to Feeding America, 13 percent of American households were food insecure in 2015. And that only accounts for those that are reported. Food insecurity is complicated by the rise of the industrial agricultural system and the monopoly control of seed by just a handful of large corporations. This holiday season, offer a helping hand if you can. Food Pantries.org and Feeding America have great resources on where and how to donate to local food banks and kitchens.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

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There’s more good news in the pollinators and popcorn world, and it’s just in time for National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. We’re excited to share that a third company, Preferred Popcorn, a fully farmer-owned company that provides popcorn to popular popcorn brands and movie theatre concessions, has taken bold steps toward removing bee-toxic insecticides from their popcorn supply chain.

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Want to join us in standing up for bees? Use your purchasing power to support popcorn companies that are doing the right thing for bees and the environment. Our Guide to Bee-Friendly Popcorn can help you get started!

 

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year, but we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides. That’s why we’re calling on Orville Redenbacher—the biggest brand in the popcorn industry—to source its popcorn from seeds that are NOT coated in these harmful chemicals.

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. But we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides.Bees are dying at alarming rates, and that scientists have identified a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a prime culprit in these drastic population losses. Unfortunately, the popcorn industry uses bee-killing chemicals on their seeds, too. Watch the animation and take action!

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Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity—joined by Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Prof. Lincoln Brower—have just filed a groundbreaking legal action to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sign the petition to extend ESA protection to monarchs!

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Climate Change is such an enormous and unprecedented problem that it may seem like  our individual efforts can’t possibly make a difference. But, they do, especially on the food front. Think about it: if we are fortunate, most of us eat three times a day. That’s over 1,000 meals a year! Say you live with three other people – that’s over 4,000 meals in one household.  Each of those meals has the potential to contribute to climate change, or to help solve it.

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Using the power of photosynthesis, we can take excess carbon out of the atmosphere--where it\'s become a problem--and store it in the ground, where it contributes to soil and climate health.

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An excess of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere is warming the planet and increasing the severity and intensity of extreme weather events. While this is a grim state of affairs, there is hope, and it is right under our feet in the soil.

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One of our biggest potential climate allies is directly under our feet: soil. Healthy, living soil has an enormous capacity to store carbon. In fact, carbon stored in soil accounts for roughly three times the amount stored in the atmosphere! Improving the health of degraded soil holds tremendous potential to mitigate climate change.

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Take the Cool Foods pledge and do your part to stabilize the earth’s climate by being more thoughtful about the way you eat.


Center for Food Safety’s Cool Foods Campaign provides information about the connection between agriculture, food and a stable climate.

Everyone eats, so everyone can join our campaign!

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More and more people are beginning to understand that what we put on our food, land and water ends up in our bodies.  Foods bearing the organic label are grown, processed, inspected and certified “organic” in accordance with the strict legal requirements of the Organic Foods Production Act.  Organically grown food is the only food legally-mandated to safeguard human health, animal welfare and the environment.

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In advance of USDA’s publication of regulations to govern organic aquaculture, CFS’s report, Like Water and Oil:  Ocean-Based Fish Farming and Organic Don’t Mix, warns that permitting “organic” aquaculture at sea would put the entire U.S. organic industry in jeopardy by weakening the integrity of the USDA organic label.

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Organic is the healthiest system of food production and the most beneficial for the environment, wildlife, climate, and biodiversity, and organic keeps getting better all the time. So when you\'re debating between organic and conventional food, the choice is simple: choose organic.

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Today the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) rejected a petition to extend the expiration date for the use of oxytetracycline to treat fire blight in apple and pear production beyond October 21, 2014. The decision is a victory for the organic standard and advances efforts to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

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It’s that time of year when we gather together with friends and family to share in the bounty of the season, reflect on the past year and think about how grateful we are for each other and for the gifts of the harvest. We here at CFS are certainly grateful for the support of hundreds of thousands of members who help us in our mission to create a more just and sustainable food system. We will be thinking about that as we sit down at our Thanksgiving tables, but we’ll also be thinking about a few other things… 

Bee-ing thankful for pollinators!

While you may be familiar with how much preparation it takes to ready a holiday meal, you may not be aware of all the behind-the-scenes work that bees have done before fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs even make it to your kitchen. Apples, cranberries, squash, sweet potatoes, beans—these are just a few Thanksgiving table favorites, all of which rely on bees for pollination. Unfortunately, honey bees and other native bees and pollinators are being negatively impacted by the widespread use of toxic insecticides—so much so that we are seeing historic colony loss and population declines. So this Thanksgiving, learn how you can bee-thankful and help protect pollinators!

Drug-free Turkeys

Many traditional holiday feasts feature large fowl, notably turkeys and roast chickens. But many large-scale livestock producers over-use and abuse antibiotics and other drugs as growth-promoters and to make up for unsanitary poultry rearing conditions. In fact, you may be getting an extra side dish with your turkey that you didn’t bargain for: a risky drug called ractopamine. Ractopamine is a growth enhancing drug that’s added to turkey feed—as well as the feed of pigs and cattle—to increase their muscle mass. But bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Ractopamine raises significant food safety and animal welfare concerns. It is connected to “downed” animals, muscular tremors, cardiovascular dysfunction and increased aggressive behavior in animals. The FDA has allowed its use without comprehensive scientific studies that document the risks of the drug to human and animal health. To ensure your turkey is drug-free, look for organic, free-range fowl.

Cutting food waste

Celebrating the plenty of the season is a beautiful thing, but what we sometimes fail to consider is that enough is plenty. “Leftovers” are especially cherished during the holidays—when else is digging into stuffing and pumpkin pie for breakfast appropriate—but buying, cooking and eating to excess isn’t good for your health or for the environment. According to Food Tank, between Thanksgiving and the New Year, the United States will waste about five million tons of food. And where does all of that food waste go? Not to the needy. Food is the single largest component of municipal solid waste reaching America’s landfills and incinerators. This holiday, keep climate change in mind as you prepare your meals, and think about creative, nutritious ways to re-use what is left over!

How to support communities in need

People in many communities around the country and around the world won’t be worrying about food waste this time of year; instead, their worry will be where they might find their next meal. Food insecurity impacts millions of people each year. According to Feeding America, 13 percent of American households were food insecure in 2015. And that only accounts for those that are reported. Food insecurity is complicated by the rise of the industrial agricultural system and the monopoly control of seed by just a handful of large corporations. This holiday season, offer a helping hand if you can. Food Pantries.org and Feeding America have great resources on where and how to donate to local food banks and kitchens.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

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It’s that time of year when we gather together with friends and family to share in the bounty of the season, reflect on the past year and think about how grateful we are for each other and for the gifts of the harvest. We here at CFS are certainly grateful for the support of hundreds of thousands of members who help us in our mission to create a more just and sustainable food system. We will be thinking about that as we sit down at our Thanksgiving tables, but we’ll also be thinking about a few other things… 

Bee-ing thankful for pollinators!

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Drug-free Turkeys

Many traditional holiday feasts feature large fowl, notably turkeys and roast chickens. But many large-scale livestock producers over-use and abuse antibiotics and other drugs as growth-promoters and to make up for unsanitary poultry rearing conditions. In fact, you may be getting an extra side dish with your turkey that you didn’t bargain for: a risky drug called ractopamine. Ractopamine is a growth enhancing drug that’s added to turkey feed—as well as the feed of pigs and cattle—to increase their muscle mass. But bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Ractopamine raises significant food safety and animal welfare concerns. It is connected to “downed” animals, muscular tremors, cardiovascular dysfunction and increased aggressive behavior in animals. The FDA has allowed its use without comprehensive scientific studies that document the risks of the drug to human and animal health. To ensure your turkey is drug-free, look for organic, free-range fowl.

Cutting food waste

Celebrating the plenty of the season is a beautiful thing, but what we sometimes fail to consider is that enough is plenty. “Leftovers” are especially cherished during the holidays—when else is digging into stuffing and pumpkin pie for breakfast appropriate—but buying, cooking and eating to excess isn’t good for your health or for the environment. According to Food Tank, between Thanksgiving and the New Year, the United States will waste about five million tons of food. And where does all of that food waste go? Not to the needy. Food is the single largest component of municipal solid waste reaching America’s landfills and incinerators. This holiday, keep climate change in mind as you prepare your meals, and think about creative, nutritious ways to re-use what is left over!

How to support communities in need

People in many communities around the country and around the world won’t be worrying about food waste this time of year; instead, their worry will be where they might find their next meal. Food insecurity impacts millions of people each year. According to Feeding America, 13 percent of American households were food insecure in 2015. And that only accounts for those that are reported. Food insecurity is complicated by the rise of the industrial agricultural system and the monopoly control of seed by just a handful of large corporations. This holiday season, offer a helping hand if you can. Food Pantries.org and Feeding America have great resources on where and how to donate to local food banks and kitchens.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

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Wendell Berry once said “the Earth is what we all have in common.” It is one of my favorite quotes to return to when I’m getting down and out about the unrest in the world, and particularly, as of late, the extreme socio-political divisions here in the U.S. that have put many of us at odds with our neighbors. I often think about the many ways in which we all depend on the pale blue dot. During this time of year, the harvest, I am especially reminded of just how much the earth sustains us, and think that Berry’s idea could be applied to a connected concept – food is what we all have in common. Today, on World Food Day, I can think of a million ways we could celebrate that commonality, empower each other, and support food security and sustainability for everyone. Here are a few that top the list:

1. Challenge politicians to address food issues:

So much is at stake this November for the future of our movement. There is one presidential debate left and we can still offer input on which food policy questions we want the candidates to address. Will we enact policies to stop the routine use of antibiotics in meat and poultry to protect their effectiveness in treating human illnesses? Will we allow a massive Monsanto merger and unprecedented corporate agricultural consolidation? Will we act to reverse the decimation of our critical pollinators? Will we give Americans the right to know about the food we buy and fee our families? Let’s challenge the candidates to tell us how they’re going to improve our food system. This election, debate moderators are reviewing the top questions on Open Debates, a platform where voters can submit and vote on the questions they’d most like to hear the candidates answer. Vote for your favorite food and agriculture question!

2. Speak out against seed company mergers:

Food availability and accessibility begin with equitable and fair access to land and vital natural resources, including seeds. However, over the last few decades, a handful of agrichemical giants have acquired much of the world’s seed supply. Just five companies – Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Dow and Bayer – account for 62% of world seed sales. The continuing consolidation of seed and pesticide companies will only increase incentives to make agriculture more pesticide-intensive and pesticide-dependent – through development of more pesticide-promoting GMO crops and through application of pesticidal coatings on seeds of all crops. This wreaks havoc on public health, small and family farmers, and the environment, and threatens our ability to adapt our food supply in a changing climate. Recently, over 700,000 people urged the government to block the mergers of seed companies. Add your voice!

3. Encourage food producers to take responsibility:

One in three bites of food depends on bees for pollination. But since the mid-2000\'s, bees have been dying at alarming rates and beekeepers continue to struggle to keep their hives healthy enough to pollinate many of our food crops. One of the biggest threats to bees right now is pesticide-coated seeds. Scientific studies have continued to point to a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a leading culprit in bee population losses and poor colony health. While corn dominates the neonic seed coating market, popcorn also has a big stake in the game, as a large percentage of popcorn seeds are coated with neonics. That’s why we’re asking popcorn producers to phase out the use of neonics in their supply chains. You can help by signing the petition to tell Orville Redenbacher to stop killing bees!

4. Keep it clean:

There is no reason that wastewater from oil drilling should be used to irrigate crops. Yet in California, where over half of the fruits, nuts and vegetables that feed our country are grown, that is the reality. Oil companies use toxic, cancer-causing chemicals in their operations and then supply their wastewater to irrigate crops at a discounted price. But using oil wastewater to irrigate our food has not been proven safe—neither for the health of the public nor for the health of farm workers, who are exposed firsthand to these chemicals. Californians have reached out to their state government, presenting a petition with over 350,000 signatures urging the governor to stop the practice of oil wastewater irrigation. But this issue doesn’t just impact Californians – it impacts Americans all across the country who eat food grown in the state. Add your name to the petition to keep oil wastewater off of crops!

5. Start a chain reaction:

There is growing awareness among the public about the overuse of antibiotics in animals raised for food. This awareness is leading many to seek meat and poultry raised in more sustainable systems that do not rely on routine use of antibiotics. Most meat served by America\'s chain restaurants comes from animals raised in factory farms. These animals are often fed antibiotics daily in order to prevent diseases that occur in crowded, unsanitary living conditions, and to promote faster growth. Regularly dosing animals with antibiotics for purposes other than treating illnesses has contributed to rising cases of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans that are resistant to important medicines. The spread of resistant pathogens means that infections are harder to treat, require longer hospitalizations, and pose greater risk of death. Choosing meats raised without routine antibiotics is a way for consumers to help curb the spread of resistant pathogens and protect the efficacy of critical human medicines. CFS and our partners recently released the 2016 report ranking America’s top 25 restaurant chains on their antibiotic use. Many improved from last year, but several others still have a ways to go. Keep the chain reaction going by putting pressure on those restaurants that scored an ‘F’!

As you can see, there are a lot of challenges in our current food system that we need to overcome. But working together, we have the power to shape a food future that is healthy and sustainable for people, animals, and the earth – this special place that we all have in common. Happy World Food Day!

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There’s more good news in the pollinators and popcorn world, and it’s just in time for National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. We’re excited to share that a third company, Preferred Popcorn, a fully farmer-owned company that provides popcorn to popular popcorn brands and movie theatre concessions, has taken bold steps toward removing bee-toxic insecticides from their popcorn supply chain.

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Want to join us in standing up for bees? Use your purchasing power to support popcorn companies that are doing the right thing for bees and the environment. Our Guide to Bee-Friendly Popcorn can help you get started!

 

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year, but we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides. That’s why we’re calling on Orville Redenbacher—the biggest brand in the popcorn industry—to source its popcorn from seeds that are NOT coated in these harmful chemicals.

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It’s no secret we love popcorn. In fact, Americans consume more than 16 billion quarts of popcorn each year. But we’re getting more than we bargained for in all those bowls of popcorn: bee-toxic pesticides.Bees are dying at alarming rates, and that scientists have identified a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a prime culprit in these drastic population losses. Unfortunately, the popcorn industry uses bee-killing chemicals on their seeds, too. Watch the animation and take action!

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Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity—joined by Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Prof. Lincoln Brower—have just filed a groundbreaking legal action to list the monarch butterfly as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Sign the petition to extend ESA protection to monarchs!

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In the last few decades, consolidation of food production has concentrated power in the hands of fewer and fewer corporations.  Many of today’s farms are actually large industrial facilities, not family farms with green pastures and red barns that most Americans imagine.  The operation of these consolidated operations have little to no regard for the environment, animal welfare or food safety, and they often put the health of consumers and rural communities at risk for the sake of profit.

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Today, groups including Center for Food Safety released Chain Reaction II, the 2nd annual report ranking the top 25 U.S. restaurant chains on their antibiotics policies. Find out who passed, who failed, and what you can do to urge companies to step up to the plate on antibiotics use.

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The Number One threat to Seed Biodiversity: Corporate Takeover of Commercial Seeds by Major Chemical/Biotechnology companies

The top 10 seed companies control 57% of the global seed market. Seed industry concentration has resulted from major pesticide manufacturers like Monsanto, DuPont, Bayer and Dow buying up half the world’s seed supply. This corporate takeover and consolidation of our seed supply has several negative impacts: 1) Use of genetic engineering to make pesticide-promoting GM crops, harming the environment; 2) Reduction/elimination of conventional seeds, giving farmers little choice but to buy GM seeds; 3) Astronomical prices for GM seeds and the pesticides used with them hurt farmers financially; 4) Monsanto’s patents on seeds permit prosecution of farmers for seed-saving; and 5) Monsanto “strong-arm” tactics with ever fewer remaining independent seed companies further reduce farmers’ seed choices and enforce the company’s stranglehold on seeds.

These corporations use several different methods of control over our seed supply.  These methods include patenting; genetic engineering; technology use agreements; and terminator technology designed to make plants sterile so they are unable to reproduce, and so that farmers are unable to save the seed from these crops for future planting.

Halting the Corporate Takeover of Seeds

The Center for Food Safety has been taking actions toward halting this corporate takeover of our seed supply. These actions include, but are not limited to the following: 1) Using anti-trust actions to halt monopolistic takeover of seeds (see Corporate Control and Seed Monopolies); 2) Limiting use of gene banks in favor of in situ seed protection and local seed saving (see Genetic Engineering and Patents); and 3) Re-configuring gene bank agreements to protect against corporate exploitation of collections (see Seed Saving and Seed Banks).

Working in collaboration with other NGOs across the world, CFS is taking action to: pass national and international legislation declaring seeds to be non-patentable subject matter; ensure seed saving is a fundamental right of all farmers; promote local seed saving effort around the world; promote a vibrant public sector/government seed research program; declare a moratorium on any new genetically engineered crops; litigate to nullify Technology Use Contracts and coercive seed selling contracts as violations of public policy; and declare an International Ban on Terminator Technology.

CFS will be expanding its Save Our Seeds program in the coming months and adding new updates to this section of our website so check back soon!

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Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Save our Seeds (SOS)—two organizations dedicated to promoting safe, sustainable food and farming systems—challenged the agrochemical giant Monsanto and its restrictive “seed saving” policies via a “friend of the court” brief filed in the forthcoming U.S. Supreme Court case, Bowman v. Monsanto. The case involves Monsanto’s prosecution of 75-year-old Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman for alleged patent infringement because he saved and replanted his soybean seeds rather than purchasing new seeds for planting. Today’s filing lays out a legal framework for why the Supreme Court should safeguard seeds as a public good, confirming the right of Bowman and all farmers to save seeds.

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Seeds represent the rich heritage of biological diversity and are important repositories of ancestral and cultural knowledge.  Over millennia, farmers and societies developed seeds and shared them collectively to ensure food security and local economies.  Through seed saving and traditional plant breeding knowledge and technologies, communities developed diverse seeds to adapt to drought, heat stress, pest and plant diseases, and other environmental stresses and geographical limitations.

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One week before the Supreme Court heard arguments in Bowman v. Monsanto Co., the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Save our Seeds (SOS) – two legal and policy organizations dedicated to promoting safe, sustainable food and farming systems – launched our new report, Seed Giants vs. U.S. Farmers. The new report investigates how the current seed patent regime has led to a radical shift to consolidation and control of global seed supply and how these patents have abetted corporations, such as Monsanto, to sue U.S. farmers for alleged seed patent infringement.

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Wendell Berry once said “the Earth is what we all have in common.” It is one of my favorite quotes to return to when I’m getting down and out about the unrest in the world, and particularly, as of late, the extreme socio-political divisions here in the U.S. that have put many of us at odds with our neighbors. I often think about the many ways in which we all depend on the pale blue dot. During this time of year, the harvest, I am especially reminded of just how much the earth sustains us, and think that Berry’s idea could be applied to a connected concept – food is what we all have in common. Today, on World Food Day, I can think of a million ways we could celebrate that commonality, empower each other, and support food security and sustainability for everyone. Here are a few that top the list:

1. Challenge politicians to address food issues:

So much is at stake this November for the future of our movement. There is one presidential debate left and we can still offer input on which food policy questions we want the candidates to address. Will we enact policies to stop the routine use of antibiotics in meat and poultry to protect their effectiveness in treating human illnesses? Will we allow a massive Monsanto merger and unprecedented corporate agricultural consolidation? Will we act to reverse the decimation of our critical pollinators? Will we give Americans the right to know about the food we buy and fee our families? Let’s challenge the candidates to tell us how they’re going to improve our food system. This election, debate moderators are reviewing the top questions on Open Debates, a platform where voters can submit and vote on the questions they’d most like to hear the candidates answer. Vote for your favorite food and agriculture question!

2. Speak out against seed company mergers:

Food availability and accessibility begin with equitable and fair access to land and vital natural resources, including seeds. However, over the last few decades, a handful of agrichemical giants have acquired much of the world’s seed supply. Just five companies – Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Dow and Bayer – account for 62% of world seed sales. The continuing consolidation of seed and pesticide companies will only increase incentives to make agriculture more pesticide-intensive and pesticide-dependent – through development of more pesticide-promoting GMO crops and through application of pesticidal coatings on seeds of all crops. This wreaks havoc on public health, small and family farmers, and the environment, and threatens our ability to adapt our food supply in a changing climate. Recently, over 700,000 people urged the government to block the mergers of seed companies. Add your voice!

3. Encourage food producers to take responsibility:

One in three bites of food depends on bees for pollination. But since the mid-2000\'s, bees have been dying at alarming rates and beekeepers continue to struggle to keep their hives healthy enough to pollinate many of our food crops. One of the biggest threats to bees right now is pesticide-coated seeds. Scientific studies have continued to point to a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a leading culprit in bee population losses and poor colony health. While corn dominates the neonic seed coating market, popcorn also has a big stake in the game, as a large percentage of popcorn seeds are coated with neonics. That’s why we’re asking popcorn producers to phase out the use of neonics in their supply chains. You can help by signing the petition to tell Orville Redenbacher to stop killing bees!

4. Keep it clean:

There is no reason that wastewater from oil drilling should be used to irrigate crops. Yet in California, where over half of the fruits, nuts and vegetables that feed our country are grown, that is the reality. Oil companies use toxic, cancer-causing chemicals in their operations and then supply their wastewater to irrigate crops at a discounted price. But using oil wastewater to irrigate our food has not been proven safe—neither for the health of the public nor for the health of farm workers, who are exposed firsthand to these chemicals. Californians have reached out to their state government, presenting a petition with over 350,000 signatures urging the governor to stop the practice of oil wastewater irrigation. But this issue doesn’t just impact Californians – it impacts Americans all across the country who eat food grown in the state. Add your name to the petition to keep oil wastewater off of crops!

5. Start a chain reaction:

There is growing awareness among the public about the overuse of antibiotics in animals raised for food. This awareness is leading many to seek meat and poultry raised in more sustainable systems that do not rely on routine use of antibiotics. Most meat served by America\'s chain restaurants comes from animals raised in factory farms. These animals are often fed antibiotics daily in order to prevent diseases that occur in crowded, unsanitary living conditions, and to promote faster growth. Regularly dosing animals with antibiotics for purposes other than treating illnesses has contributed to rising cases of antibiotic-resistant infections in humans that are resistant to important medicines. The spread of resistant pathogens means that infections are harder to treat, require longer hospitalizations, and pose greater risk of death. Choosing meats raised without routine antibiotics is a way for consumers to help curb the spread of resistant pathogens and protect the efficacy of critical human medicines. CFS and our partners recently released the 2016 report ranking America’s top 25 restaurant chains on their antibiotic use. Many improved from last year, but several others still have a ways to go. Keep the chain reaction going by putting pressure on those restaurants that scored an ‘F’!

As you can see, there are a lot of challenges in our current food system that we need to overcome. But working together, we have the power to shape a food future that is healthy and sustainable for people, animals, and the earth – this special place that we all have in common. Happy World Food Day!

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Wendell Berry once said “the Earth is what we all have in common.” It is one of my favorite quotes to return to when I’m getting down and out about the unrest in the world, and particularly, as of late, the extreme socio-political divisions here in the U.S. that have put many of us at odds with our neighbors. I often think about the many ways in which we all depend on the pale blue dot. During this time of year, the harvest, I am especially reminded of just how much the earth sustains us, and think that Berry’s idea could be applied to a connected concept – food is what we all have in common. Today, on World Food Day, I can think of a million ways we could celebrate that commonality, empower each other, and support food security and sustainability for everyone. Here are a few that top the list:

1. Challenge politicians to address food issues:

So much is at stake this November for the future of our movement. There is one presidential debate left and we can still offer input on which food policy questions we want the candidates to address. Will we enact policies to stop the routine use of antibiotics in meat and poultry to protect their effectiveness in treating human illnesses? Will we allow a massive Monsanto merger and unprecedented corporate agricultural consolidation? Will we act to reverse the decimation of our critical pollinators? Will we give Americans the right to know about the food we buy and fee our families? Let’s challenge the candidates to tell us how they’re going to improve our food system. This election, debate moderators are reviewing the top questions on Open Debates, a platform where voters can submit and vote on the questions they’d most like to hear the candidates answer. Vote for your favorite food and agriculture question!

2. Speak out against seed company mergers:

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3. Encourage food producers to take responsibility:

One in three bites of food depends on bees for pollination. But since the mid-2000\'s, bees have been dying at alarming rates and beekeepers continue to struggle to keep their hives healthy enough to pollinate many of our food crops. One of the biggest threats to bees right now is pesticide-coated seeds. Scientific studies have continued to point to a group of insecticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) as a leading culprit in bee population losses and poor colony health. While corn dominates the neonic seed coating market, popcorn also has a big stake in the game, as a large percentage of popcorn seeds are coated with neonics. That’s why we’re asking popcorn producers to phase out the use of neonics in their supply chains. You can help by signing the petition to tell Orville Redenbacher to stop killing bees!

4. Keep it clean:

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