Sunday, January 16, 2022

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A new survey shows discrimination in medical settings affects quality of care; U.S. Supreme Court rejects vaccine and testing mandates for businesses; and New York moves toward electric school buses.

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U.S. House passes a new voting rights bill, setting up a Senate showdown; President Biden announces expanded COVID testing, and Jan. 6 Committee requests an interview with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

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New website profiles missing and murdered Native Americans; more support for young, rural Minnesotans who've traded sex for food, shelter, drugs or alcohol; more communities step up to solve "period poverty;" and find your local gardener - Jan. 29 is National Seed Swap Day.

Birds and Bees Responsible for 1 of Every 3 Bites of Food

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Monday, September 18, 2017   

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – As we enjoy the late-summer crops produced in this country and around the world, advocates are hoping everyone will take time to appreciate the little creatures that pollinated them.

About three-quarters of the more than 240,000 species of the world's flowering plants rely on pollinators, which include bees, birds, bats and other animals.

Tiffany Finck-Haynes, a senior food campaigner with Friends of the Earth, says not only should pollinators be acknowledged for the role they play in agriculture, but the peril they're in needs to be recognized as well.

"Bees are responsible for one in every three bites of food we eat, and they're also an indicator species, so if bees and other pollinators are declining at such an alarming rate, it's telling us that there's something more serious going on in our environment and we're seeing wider-spread contamination that's going to create a problem for us," she explains.

Bee decline is being blamed on habitat loss, parasites and pesticide use, and a Canadian study published this summer found that the same pesticides contributing to the drop in bee numbers are likely contributing to hummingbird declines, too.

Finck-Haynes applauds states such as Maryland and Connecticut for taking steps to protect pollinators. Maryland became the first state to ban neonicotinoids, which are widely used in both agriculture and in backyard gardens and landscapes. She adds that seeds pre-treated with pesticides are used to grow many of our big crops such as corn and soybeans.

"If states were to work to reduce their use as a seed application and then just generally in agriculture, and work with farmers to employ alternative pest-management strategies that are better for the environment, it would go a long way in helping to really protect pollinators," she adds.

Finck-Haynes says businesses, cities, universities, garden retailers and homeowners around the country have committed to using pollinator-friendly plants and seeds, but she feels there's been a lack of action by the federal government to protect the birds and the bees.


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