Credo Action

Tell Kroger: Stop selling food grown with bee-killing pesticides

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The petition to the Kroger Company reads:

"Stop selling food produced with bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides."

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    Tell Kroger: Stop selling food grown with bee-killing pesticides

    Bees are responsible for every one in three bites of food we eat.1 Without bees and other pollinators, grocery store shelves would be missing almonds, strawberries, apples and broccoli. We would even lose coffee and chocolate.

    Yet the agricultural industry uses bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides widely in food production, putting bees in danger. To protect bees and the future of our food supply, grocery stores must stop selling food grown with these chemicals. Supermarkets can make a significant difference in the fight to protect bees. The industry sells billions of dollars of food annually. Between $235 and $577 billion worth of annual global food production relies on direct contributions by pollinators.2

    Kroger is the second largest food retailer in the United States. If the company takes a stand to protect bees, it will make a difference industry-wide. By investing in and selling bee-friendly food, Kroger and other supermarkets can help transform our food system. That is why we are joining our friends at SumofUs, Friends of the Earth and others, who are crashing Kroger’s shareholders meeting in Cincinnati later this month to stand up for the bees. Add your signature to help turn up the public pressure on Kroger today.

    Tell Kroger to stop selling food grown with bee-killing pesticides.

    Neonicotinoid pesticides, or neonics, are the world’s most widely used insecticides. Neonics are used as a seed coating on more than 140 crops and applied as a spray and as soil drenches. And a growing body of science points to neonics as a leading factor in bee population declines.3

    Along with our partners, CREDO members have successfully pressured the garden industry to nearly reject bee-killing neonics. Over 110 retailers including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart and True Value have all committed to ditch these pesticides.4

    But we need to phase out neonics from agriculture as well – and we know it is possible. Major grocery chains including ALDI and Whole Foods have increased organic offerings and restricted harmful chemicals. Costco is boosting its organic produce supply, and General Mills will be doubling the organic acreage from which it sources ingredients. The shift by major food companies shows that it is possible to change the industry. But right now, 17 out of the top 20 grocery retailers are failing to protect bees.5

    The risk of using neonics is not rocket science: without healthy bee populations, we cannot feed ourselves. Corporate food retailers have chained themselves to outdated, pesticide-heavy habits because they care more about their own profits than protecting our food systems. We need to show Kroger and other food giants that not only are bee-friendly products possible, they are necessary.

    But the bees can’t wait. We need to transition away from these harmful pesticides now in order to protect bees and all of us.

    Tell Kroger – one of the nation’s largest grocery retailers – to say NO to bee-killing pesticides.

    References:

    1. Sarah Yang, “Pollinators help one-third of world's crop production, says new study,” University of California at Berkeley, Oct. 25, 2006.
    2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “Pollinators vital to our food supply under threat,” Feb. 26, 2016.
    3. Kate Kelland, “Long-term study links neonicotinoids to wild bee declines,” Reuters, Aug. 16, 2016.
    4. Friends of the Earth, “Walmart and True Value to phase out bee-killing pesticides while Ace Hardware lags behind,” May 3, 2017.
    5. Tiffany Finck-Haynes, Jason Davidson, Kendra Klein and Antonio Roman-Alcalá, “Swarming the Aisles: Rating top retailers on bee-friendly and organic food,” Friends of the Earth, Oct. 25, 2016.