National Pollinator Strategy is a Balanced Approach
Friday, May 22, 2015
By: Becky Langer
This week, the President’s Pollinator Task Force released its long awaited report on improving pollinator health. On behalf of my company, which has been dedicated to this issue for almost 30 years, I could not be more thrilled that the health of our pollinators is finally achieving the attention it deserves.
As everyone knows by now, pollinators and success in agriculture go hand in hand. The world population is expected to grow to over nine billion people, requiring 70 percent more food by 2050 – bees therefore need more food to help them pollinate crops. Without these workaholic insects, we probably don’t have a strong business, but more importantly, all of us would have a much harder time getting affordable, nutritious food.
We must all help protect pollinators and for that reason I applaud the President for making this a priority. His Task Force had a tremendous challenge and I believe they carried out their duties very well by soliciting input from a wide range of voices, including the agriculture industry.
The approach the President’s National Strategy recommends is similar to the one Bayer has championed for almost 30 years. There are many factors affecting bee health and addressing them requires a balanced and multi-faceted approach.
Bayer has many programs aligned with the national strategy including investing in research to better understand the multitude of factors affecting bees and their population dynamics, increasing habitat and forage for all pollinators through our Feed a Bee program
, and working with growers, beekeepers and other stakeholders to improve education, communication and best management practices for beekeeping and use of our products. Take a look at our Bee Care Program’s website
to learn more about all of our initiatives.
Bayer’s thoughts on the specifics of the report will certainly evolve as we have more time to digest it and hear from stakeholders across the industry. In particular, we want to ensure that regulatory decisions on pesticides are science-based as well as economically and environmentally sustainable, continuing to allow farmers access to safe, affordable and effective tools they rely upon to feed the world.
Ultimately, we believe the President and his Administration are truly committed to pollinator health and a thriving ag industry and that commitment will provide a foundation for fruitful discussions in the future. We appreciate the work of this Task Force and look forward to working with all who care about bee health to help implement its recommendations.