Pollination and Nutrition

19 November 2015


A recent study analysed the contribution of pollination to human health by modelling the impact of environmental changes on pollinator numbers. The paper, partly funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and published in The Lancet, looked at 224 types of food in 156 countries and modelled how human health would be affected by the collapse of pollinators. Assuming complete removal of pollinators, the study found that “71 million people in low-income countries could become newly deficient in vitamin A, and an additional 2·2 billion already consuming below the average requirement would have further declines in vitamin A supplies.”

As Myer, one of the study’s lead authors notes “All of human civilisation has taken place during a very stable set of biophysical conditions, but we are now changing those conditions at a rate that’s never been seen before.” The study concluded that pollinator-related losses of foods and micronutrients have the potential to substantially increase the burden of disease from non-communicable disease and micronutrient deficiencies around the world.


Image credit:

The study:


No comments yet