WASHINGTON (November 21, 2014) -- Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and nine of his Senate colleagues today urged the Environmental Protection Agency to act quickly to address the risks that pesticides pose to the health of bees and other pollinators. In the letter, the Senators request information on the steps that EPA is taking to comply with its responsibilities under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, and the recent memorandum issued by President Obama to protect the health of pollinators. The letter also requests information on how EPA is considering the impact of these pesticides on human health and endangered species.


“Recent scientific developments highlight the threat that these pesticides pose to honey bees and other pollinators and our food production and economy, as well as the potential for effects on humans and the environment,” said Senator Markey, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. “I wrote EPA in 2012 asking them to consider the effects of these pesticides on pollinators and I continue to urge them to act quickly to address these concerns.”


The full letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy can be found HERE.


Honey bees and other pollinators play an important role in American food production, the environment, and the economy, contributing $24 billion a year to the economy. However, there have been serious concerns about the health of our nation’s pollinators since beekeepers began reporting abnormally high bee die-offs in 2006. Neonicotinoid pesticides are widely used and have been identified as a particular threat to honeybees. There are also studies that implicate potential human health effects and impacts to wildlife and surrounding ecosystems.


Along with Senator Markey, the letter is signed by Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vermont), and Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii).