Chesapeake PSR

Keeping up the pressure on bee-killing neonicotinoids in Maryland

Toxics and HealthLydia SullivanComment

Bee-killing neonicotinoids ("neonics") are still in the spotlight in Maryland. Last year, as you may remember, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Pollinator Protection Act (PPA), which requires warning labels on plants, seeds or nursery stock treated with neonic pesticides. It would also restrict sales of neonics to certified applicators, farmers or veterinarians.

What has been happening since then? A lot, it turns out.

New peer-reviewed studies continue to link increased bee population extinction rates to the use of neonicotinoids. And neonics are linked to a 40 percent reduction in bees' sperm counts. The evidence continues to grow that these pesticides are really bad for bees and - as bees are pollinators of dozens of food crops - for all of us.

Maryland is out in front on this issue, but we can't let our guard down on protecting pollinators. There is still a problem. 

The PPA restricts only the sale of products containing neonics, not plants and seeds treated with the toxic pesticides. Some stores, such as Lowes and Home Depot, are removing neonicotinoid-treated plants and seeds from their inventories. 

What can you do to help this effort? Consider signing this petition urging Ace Hardware and other stores to stop selling plants treated with neonics.

Chesapeake PSR supports reducing the use of neonicotinoids in Maryland, and we will continue to update you on this and other important pesticide issues in the state.

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