20 June


2014 – The American President signed a Presidential Memorandum that recognizes the severe losses in the populations of pollinators: during the last decades there were substantial losses of honey bees, wild bees, monarch and other types of butterflies, birds, bats and others. The President acknowledges the importance of pollinators in agriculture and directs federal agencies to establish a Pollinator Health Task Force that must develop a strategy within 180 days that will support and create pollinator habitat. The Task Force (chaired at US Department of Agriculture) must prevent further pollinator losses and find ways to recover pollinator populations, also find out how pesticides, pathogens and management practices contribute to pollinator losses.

Scientists believe that massive losses of honey bees are caused by a combination of several factors such as pesticide exposure (neonicotinoids), poor nutrition, loss of forage lands (mono cultures contribute to loss of forage), parasites, pathogens and lack of genetic diversity.


1795 – French chemist Joseph Bienaimé Caventou was born (diet 5 May 1877). He did research int vegetable bases in partnership with Pierre-Joseph Pelletier. They are regarded as the founders of the chemistry of vegetable alkaloids. In 1817 they discovered and named chlorophyll (french chlorophyle).

Caventou and Pettetier discoveries included strychinine, brucine, quinine and caffeine (1821) among others. By combustion of alkaloids they discovered that nitrogen was present in this type of compounds.

Alkaloids are organic compounds which form water-soluble salts that perform various functions in medicine (analgesics or pain-killers). They are present in foods too.


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