Mary­land en­acts ban on neon­i­coti­noid pes­ti­cides to help bee pop­u­la­tion

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - By ELIANA BLOCK Cap­i­tal News Ser­vice

AN­NAPO­LIS — Mary­land law­mak­ers dur­ing the re­cent Gen­eral Assem­bly ses­sion voted to curb the sale of cer­tain pest con­trol prod­ucts to home gar­den­ers af­ter re­view­ing stud­ies that point to the harm­ful ef­fects some lawn chem­i­cals have on bees and other pol­li­na­tors.

The leg­is­la­tion pro­hibits the re­tail sale and house­hold use of neon­i­coti­noid pes­ti­cides, a class of in­sect re­pel­lant that at­tacks the ner­vous sys­tem and par­a­lyzes pests, be­gin­ning in 2018, but com­mer­cial uses would still be per­mit­ted.

Both the House and Senate ver­sions of the bill passed 99-38 in the House of Del­e­gates. The leg­is­la­tion was con­tentious, and sup­port­ers and op­po­nents each pointed to stud­ies that in­di­cated con­flict­ing ef­fects on bee pop­u­la­tions due to the neon­i­coti­noids.

Gov. Larry Ho­gan is re­view­ing the leg­is­la­tion, a spokes­woman said.

“Con­sumers tend to overuse prod­uct sup­plies in re­tail stores, and mak­ing some Other stud­ies have found dent in neonic use by re­strict­ing that pes­ti­cides are dev­as­tat­ing them to cer­ti­fied ap­pli­ca­tors, the bee pop­u­la­tion, while farm­ers and ve­teri­nar­i­ans some re­port that bees are is im­por­tant be­cause un­af­fected. Still others in­di­cate those peo­ple are bet­ter bee colonies in the U.S. trained to use those prod­ucts,” are grow­ing. House bill spon­sor The Mary­land Depart­ment Del. Anne Healey (D-Prince of Agri­cul­ture and Ge­orge’s) said. “The pre­pon­der­ance the Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of of science is huge In­de­pen­dent Busi­nesses and it’s con­firmed in the in­de­pen­dent op­posed the bill. To date science com­mu­nity.” the Mary­land Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture has not doc­u­mented

A Jan. 6 En­vi­ron­men­tal any cases of neon­ics Pro­tec­tion Agency health neg­a­tively im­pact­ing honey­bees as­sess­ment of neon­i­coti­noid in Mary­land and cited pes­ti­cides, fre­quently a USDA sur­vey that claimed called “neon­ics,” in­di­cated that “no neon­i­coti­noids were a threat one type of neonic found in Mary­land pollen had on honey bee colonies sam­ples.” that feast on cit­rus and cot­ton There are about 1,800 bee­keep­ers crops. (http://www. that keep 14,000 colonies epa.gov/pes­ti­cides/epa-re­leases-first-four-pre­lim­i­nary-risk-as­sess­ments-in­sec­ti­cides-po­ten­tially-harm­ful) scat­tered through­out Mary­land, ac­cord­ing to the Mary­land Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture.

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