Last June, President Obama called for an interagency Task Force to create a Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. Today, the Task Force released its strategy, under the joint leadership of EPA and USDA.
The strategy has outlined three primary goals: reduce honey bee colony losses to economically sustainable levels; increase monarch butterfly numbers to protect the annual migration; and restore or enhance millions of acres of land for pollinators.
The strategy includes actions to be taken by more than a dozen other federal agencies and departments, as well as entities such as the Smithsonian Institute and the National Zoo. EPA will be working “to balance the unintended consequences of chemical exposure with the need for pest control” and is directed complete a review of the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators by the end of 2017.
Bayer CropScience president and CEO Jim Blome welcomed the release of the strategy, calling it a “balanced and multi-faceted approach.”
“We are particularly encouraged by the specific commitment to invest more into research to improve our understanding of pollinator health,” said Blome, noting that many of Bayer’s on-going pollinator initiatives mirror specific recommendations included in the national strategy.