WASHINGTON, D.C. – Top officials of leading environmental groups Feb. 5 urged President Obama to take strong and swift action against neonicotinoid insecticides that are devastating honey bee and wild bee populations, threatening the nation’s food supplies, reports the National Resources Defense Council on Switchboard, its staff blog.

In a letter to the White House, the 11 groups called on the President to immediately suspend neonicotinoid use, take steps to curb their adverse impacts and to have his administration close a legal loophole which allows the insecticides’ sale before they are adequately assessed for safety. The letter comes three weeks after over 100 businesses, many of which are members of the American Sustainable Business Council and the Green America Business Network, sent a similar plea to the President.

“We hope that you will prioritize action on this issue of vital importance to our food system, economy and environment and make saving bees a key piece of your legacy as president,” the letter said. It was signed by Trip Van Noppen, president of Earthjustice; Peter Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth U.S., and eight other green CEOs.

While the great majority of neonicotinoid use is directed at controlling insect pests in food crops, several popular neonicotinoid insecticides are also widely used by turf, ornamental plant and urban tree professionals.

To read the complete NRDC blog, please click here.