In honor of National Pollinator Week (June 17-June 23), thousands of people across the US are participating in a week of action to demand that the retail food giant Kroger eliminate pollinator-toxic pesticides from their food supply chain and increase their organic food offerings.
World insect decline has been rapidly increasing, with more than 40% of insect species declining and a third endangered. Bees are particularly affected. The main reasons for global bee-decline or the “bee apocalypse” is industrial agriculture, parasites/pathogens, and climate change. Loss of biodiversity, destruction of habitat, and lack of forage due to bee-killing pesticides are destroying pollinators.
Declining insect numbers is bad news for nature and the planet. Insects are “essential” for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, according to a scientific review published by The Guardian.
Kroger has fallen behind competitors on pesticide reduction, leading to activists targeting the corporation in recent months.
“We ask Kroger to show leadership in corporate responsibility by adopting food safety policies that eliminate pesticides in the supply chain that are harmful to people and pollinators,” said Alexis Luckey, executive director of Toxic Free North Carolina, a group helping lead the national week of action.
Despite companies updating their pesticide policies to encourage their suppliers to limit their uses of bee-killing pesticides like chlorpyrifos and neonicotinoids, a recent scorecard from Friends of the Earth found that most food retailers are not doing enough to safeguard both pollinators and people from toxic pesticides.
The report from Friends of the Earth and allies found that many store brand foods, like Kroger’s, are heavily contaminated with glyphosate, organophosphates, and neonicotinoids.
In the past decade, beekeepers have lost more than 40 percent of their hives. A recent report published by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization warns that declining world biodiversity jeopardizes the future of our food system.