Earth Focus investigates the deadly effects of toxins on two key natural resources: water and food crops. Killing Beestells the story of how honey bees, the essential pollinators of many major US crops, have been dying off in massive numbers since 2006. This threatens the American agricultural system and the one in twelve American jobs that depends on it. There is growing evidence that a new class of pesticides -- nerve toxins called neonicotinoids, which are used on most US crops including almost all corn -- may be toxic to bees. The Environmental Protection Agency allowed neonicotinoids on the market without adequate tests to determine their toxicity to bees. Environmentalists want neonicotinoids banned until needed safety tests are done. While the US government is slow to act and neonicotinoid sales reap billions for the chemical industry, bees continue to die.
A Town Fights Backexplores the town of Toms River, New Jersey, whose children were coming down with rare types of cancer. For more than 40 years, the town's drinking water was polluted by chemicals and by-products from dye manufacturing -- chemicals thought to cause cancer. Their source? Dumping by Ciba Geigy and Union Carbide. But the town's people -- like Linda Gillick and her son Michael, who was born in 1979 with a rare form of nerve tissue cancer -- fought back.