Friday, 19 April 2013
Avaaz: Bee Petition
I received this email about a petition from Avaaz.com, (a 21-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making) and thought I would share it. "Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages. Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; the team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operating in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's biggest campaigns here, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
Quietly, globally, billions of bees are dying, threatening our crops and food. But in days the European Union could move to ban the most poisonous pesticides, and pave the way to a global ban that would save bees from extinction.
Four EU countries have begun banning these poisons, and some bee populations are already recovering. The official European food safety watchdog has already stated that certain pesticides are fatally harming bees. Now legal experts and European politicians are calling for an immediate ban. But Bayer and other giant pesticide producers are lobbying hard to keep them on the market. If we build a huge swarm of public outrage now, we can push European Agriculture ministers to put our health and our environment before the profit of a few.
We know our voices count! Last year, our 1.2 million strong petition forced US authorities to open a formal consultation on pesticides -- now if we reach 3 million, we can persuade the EU to get rid of these crazy poisons and pave the way for a ban worldwide. Sign the urgent petition and send this to everyone -- Avaaz and bee keepers will deliver our message to the meeting in Brussels:
Bees don't just make honey, they are vital to life on earth, every year pollinating 90% of plants and crops -- with an estimated $40bn value and over one-third of the food supply in many countries. Without immediate action to save bees, many of our favourite fruits, vegetables, and nuts could vanish from our shelves.
Recent years have seen a steep and disturbing global decline in bee populations -- some bee species are already extinct and some US species are at just 4% of their previous numbers. Scientists have been scrambling for answers and now the European Food Safety Authority is saying that toxic chemicals called neonicotinoid pesticides could be responsible for the bee deaths. France, Italy, Slovenia and even Germany, where the main manufacturer Bayer is based, have banned one of these bee-killing pesticides. But Bayer continues to export its poison across the world.
Now the issue is coming to a boil. EU parliamentarians and the European Commission are stepping up their pressure on key governments to push new legislation to ban the deadly pesticides, and we can offer them the public support they need to counter the powerful pesticide lobby. Sign the urgent petition to European decision makers, then forward this email widely:
Our world is beset with threats to what makes it habitable, and to what fills it with wonder. The Avaaz community comes together to defend both -- large or small. Whether winning a battle to keep the International Whaling Commission from sanctioning the murder of these giants, or saving bees, the tiny creatures upon which so much depends, we will come together and stand up for the world we all want.
Luis, Ari, Alice, Iain, Ricken, David, Alaphia, and the Avaaz team
Pesticides pose danger to bees (European Voice)
Crop pesticides are 'killing our bees' - says MEP (Public Service Europe)
Death knell for nerve agent pesticides in move to save bees (Independent)
Give Bees a Chance! (The Greens European Free Alliance)
Studies fault Bayer in bee die-off (Christian Science Monitor)