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October 21st, 2017

Vermont Law School Becomes First Official Bee-Friendly Campus in Nation

 

Vermont Law School has partnered with the Center for Food Safety’s “BEE Protective” campaign, making it the first higher-education campus in the country to earn official neonicotinoid pesticide-free designation.

“Honey bees and other pollinators play a critical role in agricultural systems,” said Laurie Ristino, director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems and VLS associate professor of law. “Protecting their health and safety is a reflection of Vermont Law School’s commitment to the environment and CAFS’ mission to support sustainable food and agricultural systems. We hope more will follow our lead.”

Vermont Law School’s partnership with the BEE Protective campaign follows an Obama administration directive, announced in June, to create a “federal strategy to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators.” The presidential memorandum reports that “pollinators contribute substantially to the economy of the United States and are vital to keeping fruits, nuts, and vegetables in our diets. Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States.

“Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators, including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies, from the environment.”

BEE Protective is a national campaign established by the Center for Food Safety and Beyond Pesticides, and works with municipalities, campuses, and homeowners to adopt policies that protect pollinators from bee-toxic pesticides. For more information about the campaign, visit http://bit.ly/1kp3gSV.

The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School supports scholars and practitioners in producing practical, robust scholarship for use by the food and agriculture community. CAFS offers an expanding curriculum in food and agriculture for law and policy students, and training and legal tools to help build sustainable local and regional food systems. For more information about the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, visit www.vermontlaw.edu/cafs/, call CAFS Director Laurie Ristino at (802) 831-1230, or email lristino@vermontlaw.edu.

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