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article imageAldi supermarkets announce bee protection plan

By Tim Sandle     Nov 3, 2019 in Environment
Another food retailer has announced a plan to minimize its use of pesticides in a bid to help protect pollinators, at least in the U.S. Aldi is to ‘encourage’ its food suppliers to phase out the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
The aim of Aldi’s policy is for its providers of fruits, vegetables, and flowers to move away from chlorpyrifos and neonicotinoid pesticides, and to use alternatives that are less toxic to pollinators like bees. This supports an on-going camping by Friends of the Earth to reduce the global use of pesticides.
As Digital Journal has reported, neonicotinoids (often abbreviated to 'neonics') are a type of neuro-active insecticide. Neonicotinoid -based pesticide use has been linked in a range of studies to adverse ecological effects, including honey-bee colony collapse disorder and a loss of birds (which is a further sign of a fall in pollinator populations). Chlorpyrifos are a class of organophosphate pesticide and these are regarded as similarly toxic to all insects and the indiscriminate of such chemicals use will harm bees.
With bees, there is evidence that the use of such pesticides poses a significant risk to the queen bee (and the loss of the queen triggers the colony to decline). Scientists based in Bern, Switzerland and Wolfville, Canada demonstrated that such pesticides contribute to bee colony mortality by affecting the queen bee’s health.
Protecting pollinators is a matter of ecological and economic importance. Honeybees and bumblebees, through pollination, contribute millions of dollars in agricultural crop values and with this play an essential role in food supply.
Aldi Süd  Trier
Aldi Süd, Trier
Sysop (CC BY 2.0)
With Aldi’s recent pronouncement Kendra Klein, senior staff scientist at Friends of the Earth said: “This is a step in the right direction to protect people and pollinators from toxic pesticides in Aldi U.S.’ supply chain.”
Aldi’s decision to restrict the use of certain pesticides in the U.S. comes after moves by other retailers to do the same. Digital Journal reported in January 2017 that retail corporation Costco had issued a similar request to its suppliers of garden plants; and we also reported that Walmart and True Value were to cease the selling of plants treated with neonicotinoids. Similar action has also been taken by Kroger.
Klein calls on other retailers to instigate the same action: “Food retailers must make clear, time-bound commitments to phase out chlorpyrifos, neonicotinoids, glyphosate and other toxic pesticides throughout their entire food supply chains and further expand their organic offerings with a focus on supporting domestic growers.”
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