When Jason Davidson from Friends of the Earth contacted Just Roots about supporting H. 2113 – An Act to Protect Massachusetts Pollinator, we said YES. Here is the letter we sent:
Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture
RE: Massachusetts H.2113
Honorable Senators and Representatives of the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture committee,
Bees are responsible for one in every three bites of food we eat, but bees and other pollinators have been declining at unsustainable rates. From 2015-2016 Massachusetts beekeepers lost an average of 55.75 percent of their hives and the U.N. estimates that 40 percent of invertebrate pollinators, especially bees and butterflies, face extinction. These numbers are not sustainable.
To help address this problem, Just Roots is joining beekeepers, farmers, and constituents across Massachusetts in endorsing H. 2113 – An Act to Protect Massachusetts Pollinators.
This bill would protect the food system, agricultural economy and environment in Massachusetts by placing common-sense restrictions on unlicensed use of harmful neonicotinoid pesticides and label plants that have been treated with neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides that have been implicated as a major contributor to honey bee and native pollinator decline This bill is a common-sense step to protect essential pollinators from avoidable exposure and recognizes the growing scientific consensus around the harmful effects of neonicotinoid pesticides.
Just Roots, through the leadership of apiarist Daniel Berry, has kept bees and offered intro to bee courses on our Community Farm since its inception. Making the direct links for our community to food, where our food comes from and the important role pollinators play in our food supply is critical to our mission. Just Roots grows produce for many low-income families in the most rural county in MA. Pollinator health is vital to our ability to continue to produce healthy, local food and connect it with our low-income markets who rely on this food for their health. When it comes to pollinators and our food supply we don’t get second chances.
Just Roots urges the Massachusetts legislature to pass H.2113-An Act Protecting Massachusetts Pollinators to make Massachusetts a leader in pollinator protection for the sake of our food systems and the ability for groups like us who are working to connect local food with food insecure residents and offer educational (on farm) opportunities for deepening the understanding of the relationship between our food supply and our pollinators.
Jessica Van Steensburg, Executive Director