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New report: Honey bees in danger and so is U.S. agriculture

MGN Online Photo/Serge Melki/Creative Commons
Friday, May 3, 2013 - 9:38am

The FDA plans to complete a long-awaited safety review of a common active ingredient in antibacterial products this year. It will also look at whether the chemical actually works.

Triclosan has been used in products like antibacterial soap for more than 40 years.

The FDA says the chemical is not currently known to be hazardous to human health, but it says several scientific studies have come out since its last review that merit another look.

The agency says animal studies have shown the ingredient changes hormone regulation and it also says other studies have raised the possibility it contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

A new study finds a number of reasons for the die-off of the honey bee. The USDA and the EPA released a comprehensive report on the devastation to honey bee colonies. The research says pesticides, parasites, poor nutrition and disease are all to blame what's now called colony collapse disorder.

The health of American agriculture is directly linked to the health of the honey bee not to mention the tens of billions of dollars at stake, as well.

An estimated one-third of all food and beverages come from pollination, mainly by honey bees. In the United States, pollination contributes to crop production worth 20-30 billion-dollars in agricultural production annually.

The federal government is trying to come up with a strategy to address the bee losses.

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