Oregon Considers Restricting Neonics

Published online: Apr 06, 2017 Insecticide Stuart Tomlinson
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Oregon’s state legislature is considering restricting the use of a major class of pesticides, and honey bee advocates are pushing to get it passed.

Senate Bill 929 would prevent the general public from buying neonicotinoid insecticides.

Farmers and professional pest controllers would still be able to use it. But cities like Portland, Seattle and Eugene have already banned it on city properties.

“If we are unsuccessful in keeping our bees alive, we will be unsuccessful in feeding ourselves,” says Brian Lacey, a bee expert with Urban Bees and Gardens and supporter of the bill. “It’s that plain. It impairs their reproductive ability, it impairs their ability to communicate, it impairs drastically their ability to navigate.”

Plenty of people are also opposed to the bill. The group Oregonians for Food and Shelter testified against it in Salem last week.

A representative for the group, policy director Scott Dahlman, believes the bill would take away an important tool for growers. He says there’s no system in place to identify “farmers,” so it could be difficult for growers to still get the pesticides.

“Unless you make a direct application, it won’t kill the pollinator,” Dalman says. “If they take it away, they may use products that are less safe.”

The EPA says that approved, proper uses of neonicotinoids don’t pose a significant risk to pollinators. Lori Ann Burd, environmental health director for the Center for Biological Diversity, disagrees.

“There are thousands of studies linking neonicotinoids with pollinator declines,” she says. “This (bill) would definitely make urban areas much safer for our pollinators.”

 

Source: KATU News