Here’s the main story: For some time now, a Nicotine-based form of pesticides – called Neonicotinoids – have been banned all across the EU, as they were found to be harmful to bees. And, you know, we humans need bees to live – one in three mouthfuls of your food comes directly from a bee-polinated plant. Without bees, for one, it’d be shit cos there’d be no bees and no bee-polinated plants whether we eat them or not. And secondly we’d have to hand-polinate our food like they’ve had to in China, and no-one’s enjoying that. The fight to protect bees against the rampant pesticides of many kinds that we use on our foods is ongoing (sign this petition), and is one of global priority – up there with divestment from fossil fuels & climate-change mitigation.
So it came as rather a shock when, just the other week, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Liz Truss, decided (against massive protestation) to life the ban on Neonicotinoids and allow their use on certain amounts of the country.
Screamed biologist, environmentalist and semi-logical person alike. No-one knows. This is what the lad from GreenPeace & I got so wrapped up in – what could possibly be the reason behind such a decision? The facts of it, all the data and research, say that Neonicotinoids kill bees. Every expert says there is no reason at all to allow their use. Yet Liz Truss made the call to allow them anyway. This was supported by the National Farmers Union, but opposed by everyone else – including the government’s own Expert Committee on Pesticides.
There is no sense for such a decision – so much so that it’s almost suspicious… almost conspiratorial. When such a decision is taken – one in spite of evidence, in spite of continentally-agreed sensibility, precaution and legislation, with such potential for negative impacts of biodiversity, human well-being and human way of life – it’s hard to help but question the motives of decision maker.
I recently created UglyFaceBatMan for Bat Conservation International’s #WeDeserveLove – a mash-up of the Ugly-Face Bat (Centurio senex, also known as Wrinkle-Face Bat) from South/Central America and Batman, to create The Hero That Conservation Deserves.
Regarding these Neonicotinoids, something somewhere between illogical and sinister seems afoot, and I can’t tell you how much I wish this was the first mission of UglyFaceBatMan:
Tomorrow a man called Paul, a member of the influential people-power-change organisation 38 Degrees, will be meeting Liz Truss (his MP) to implore her to reconsider her aforementioned decision. With him, he’ll be taking the voices of over 0.5MILLION people, and he asks you to add your voice by signing this petition now.
Tomorrow Sondhya Gupta of GreenPeace is going to be meeting Liz Truss to present her with a plea & petition (>135000 names at time of writing) to reverse this terrible decision against bees & agriculture. Please add your name here.
(I never heard how it went with Paul from Sum Of Us (If you have news, please be in touch)).