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An Obama-era ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides and cultivation of GMO crops on
US wildlife refuges has been lifted, leaving the nation’s bee population under
threat.

The ban on
the pesticides, commonly referred to as neonics, was originally imposed by the
Obama administration as a result of a lawsuit filed by environmentalists.

Lifted

The US Fish
and Wildlife Service announced an end to the two-year ban on Thursday – adding that
use of neonics on refuges would now be approved or denied on a case-by-case
basis.

Fish and
Wildlife Service Deputy Director Greg Sheehan said
that the change in policy is
not only intended to ‘maximize production’ and ‘fulfill needed farming
practices’ but to accommodate hunters.

Promoting
hunting

According
to Sheehan,
neonics encourage the growth of forage for commonly hunted birds
such as ducks and geese.

The
promotion of hunting on public lands is reportedly a top priority of US
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Criticism

The move is
not without criticism – including that of one Facebook user who shared the news
with a caption calling the ban lift ‘short sighted’ and predicting ‘long term harm
that may not be reversible [sic].’

Jenny
Keating of environmental protection organization Defenders of Wildlife said:
 “Industrial
agriculture has no place on refuges dedicated to wildlife conservation and
protection of some of the most vital and vulnerable species.”

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination....