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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'dinotefuron' Category


11
Oct

Lawsuit Filed to Protect Endangered Species from Neonicotinoid Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, October 11, 2017) Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) registration of neonicotinoid pesticides – acetamiprid, dinotefuran, and imidacloprid, and the agency’s failure to first consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the pesticides’ impact on threatened or endangered species. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenges the failure of the federal government to evaluate the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides (“neonics”) on threatened and endangered species, like the rusty patched bumble bee, the black-capped vireo, and the San Bruno elfin butterfly. The suit cites widespread presence of neonics in the environment which presents serious risks to wildlife across large portions of the country. It contends that they pose significant adverse consequences to threatened and endangered species. According to the lawsuit, because of toxicity and pervasive environmental contamination, NRDC is now challenging EPA’s registrations of pesticide products containing one of three main neonic active ingredients—acetamiprid, dinotefuran, and imidacloprid—and seeks vacatur of those registrations until EPA complies with the law. “The EPA ignored endangered bees, butterflies, and birds when it approved the widespread use of neonics,” said Rebecca Riley, a senior […]

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17
Jan

EPA Finds Risks to Bees from Neonicotinoid Insecticides, Fails to Act Accordingly

(Beyond Pesticides, January 17, 2017) On January 12, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released major risk assessment documents on  pollinator exposure to bee-toxic neonicotinoid insecticides finding no significant risks, despite the large and growing body of science identifying the pesticides’ hazards. In the documents, EPA identifies risks posed to bees by several neonicotinoid insecticides, but suggests that no restriction on uses are imminent. In another decision meant to protect bees from acutely toxic pesticides, the agency is scaling back its original proposal in deference chemical-intensive agricultural interests. EPA’s long awaited pollinator assessments for the neonicotinoids: clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, much like the 2016 pollinator assessment release for imidacloprid, identifies risks to bees from the agricultural applications (foliar, soil and seed) of these chemicals, including from pesticide drift. Observed effects include decline in worker bees, and subsequent declines in brood and pollen stores in the colony. EPA‘s assessments continue to focus on honey bees, with cursory mention of wild, native bees. Once again, the assessments did not consider risks from exposures to contaminated water, guttation droplets, or soil, with EPA stating that, “The Agency lacks information to understand the relative importance of these other routes of exposures and/or to quantify potential risks […]

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27
Mar

Portland, Oregon to Vote on Neonic Ban on City Property

(Beyond Pesticides, March 27, 2015) Portland, Oregon is considering a ban on neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides linked to bee deaths, from use on city property. If the measure passes, Portland will join a long list of towns and communities, including Eugene (Oregon),  Skagway (Alaska),  and, in Washington State, Thurston County,  Seattle, and Spokane. Under the proposed ordinance, city officials would not be permitted to use or buy neonicotinoids or similar pesticides on city lands or in city buildings and would urge stores to label products, such as plants and seeds treated with neonicotinoids. The proposal also applies to city contractors. Additionally, the proposed ban on neonicotinoids and neonicotinoid-like insecticides would not apply immediately to two city rose gardens. Officials say the rose midge, a pest, is difficult to eradicate with the insecticide. Instead the city will look for an alternative method using a pilot project at Peninsula Park in North Portland to test alternative non-toxic insecticides. That proposal would be phased in with a deadline of December 2017 to eliminate all neonicotinoid-based products. The proposal cites seven separate bumble bee incidents in Oregon related to the application of neonicotinoids on trees since June 2013, documented by the state’s Department […]

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06
Mar

Oregon Bans Four Bee-Killing Insecticides on Linden Trees

(Beyond Pesticides, March 6, 2015) Last Friday, Oregon enacted a new rule which bans the use of four types of bee-killing insecticides, including  imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam and dinotefuran, regardless of application method on linden trees and other Tilia species. The four insecticides that are now illegal to spray on Tilia trees are all in the neonicotinoid chemical class which are implicated in pollinator decline, and represents a step forward in protecting bees. However, Tilia trees are not the only route of exposure that bees and other pollinators have to neonics, which are currently applied to fields across the U.S. as seed treatment. The rule comes at the request of the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) following several bee-kill incidents in Oregon since June 2013, when more than 50,000 bumblebees were killed after dinotefuran was sprayed on trees in a shopping mall parking lot in Wilsonville, Oregon. After the incident in Wilsonville, ODA initially placed restrictions on two of the chemicals, dinotefuran and imidacloprid on Tilia trees, and the state launched a task force to look at protections for pollinators. The group came out with a range of recommendations including increased outreach and education about bees and support for bee habitat […]

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01
Dec

Over 100 Scientists Call for Action on Bee-Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, November 26, 2014) Last week, over 100 scientists from diverse disciplines released a letter citing the growing body of scientific evidence that neonicotinoids and other systemic pesticides harm bees, and called on leaders of President Barack Obama’s Pollinator Health Task Force to quickly take action on pesticides to protect and promote healthy populations of bees and other pollinators. The letter was submitted in response to the recent “listening sessions” hosted by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These sessions were held by the agencies to  collect public  feedback  on federal efforts on pollinator protection, and the Task Force convened to develop a National Pollinator Health Strategy. In June, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum directing federal agencies to  join the  Pollinator Health Task Force, led by USDA, to develop pollinator health solutions. The 108 scientists ””whose areas of expertise include entomology, agronomy, ecology, ecotoxicology”” called on Task Force co-chairs, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, to place a moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the U.S., and increase investment, research and funding for growers to adopt alternatives. In the letter, the scientists note that, “While gaps […]

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05
Nov

Pesticides Impair Bees’ Immune Function, Pure Pollen Diet Has Positive Effect

(Beyond Pesticides, November 5, 2014) New research from Pennsylvania State University reports that pesticides cause large changes in the expression of genes involved in detoxification, immunity and nutrition-sensing in bees, adding to previous research that has found that pesticides compromise bee immune function. This research also finds that bees with a diet of natural, high quality pollen exhibit greater resistance to pesticides’ deleterious effects than bees on an artificial diet. The new study, “Genomic analysis of the interaction between pesticide exposure and nutrition in honey bees (Apis mellifera),” finds that pesticide exposure can impact the expression of genes that are sensitive to diet and nutrition. The researchers, upon feeding honey bees either the miticidal pesticides, coumaphos or fluvalinate, for a period of seven days, noticed significant changes in 1,118 transcripts – or strands of RNA – in the experimental group. The transcripts include genes involved in detoxification, immunity, and nutrition. The authors report that there is substantial overlap in responses to pesticides and pollen-containing diets at the genetic level. Subsequent analyses demonstrate that pollen-based diets reduce the honey bees’ susceptibility to pesticide stress verses an artificial diet – e.g. a soy protein or no protein diet. Thus, the researchers note […]

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31
Oct

USDA To Provide Additional $4 million for Honey Bee Habitat, No Mention of Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, October 31, 2014) Without any mention of the role of pesticides in bee decline, or emphasis on organic practices to help pollinators, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that more than $4 million in technical and financial assistance will be provided to help farmers and ranchers in the Midwest improve the health of honey bees. The announcement renews and expands on a $3 million pilot investment last spring to create pollinator-friendly habitat in five Midwestern states. The effort responds to the Presidential Memorandum, which directs USDA to expand the acreage and forage value in its conservation programs. The Memorandum, issued at the close of National Pollinator Week 2014, directed federal agencies to establish a Pollinator Health Task Force, and tasked agency leads at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop a pollinator health strategy within 180 days that supports and fosters pollinator habitat. “The future of America’s food supply depends on honey bees, and this effort is one way USDA is helping improve the health of honey bee populations,” Vilsack said. “Significant progress has been made in understanding the factors that are associated with Colony Collapse Disorder and the overall health […]

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10
Sep

Emory University To Ban Neonicotinoids from Campus

(Beyond Pesticides, September 10, 2014) As bee and other pollinator populations continue to decline around the world, with clear evidence pointing to neonicotinoid pesticides as a prime cause, Emory University announced last week that it will be eliminating the use of this controversial class of chemicals from its campus, joining institutions and  communities like University of Vermont Law School, Spokane  (Washington),  Eugene (Oregon), and Shorewood (Minnesota). Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affects the central nervous system of insects,  affecting the organisms’ ability to function. These systemic pesticides, which move through the plant’s vascular system and express themselves through pollen and nectar, include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. A continually growing body of science has implicated neonicotinoids, which are applied to or incorporated into seeds for agricultural, ornamental and garden plants, as a key factor in recent global bee die-offs. Beekeepers across the country reported losses of 40 to 90 percent of their bees last winter. The implications of this loss are staggering —one in every three bites of food is reliant on bee pollination, and pollinators make possible  $20-30 billion of annual U.S. agricultural production. Last week, Emory […]

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11
Aug

Vermont Law School Becomes First BEE Protective Campus!

(Beyond Pesticides, August 11, 2014) Vermont Law School announced Friday that its campus is going neonicotinoid pesticide-free, making it the first higher-education campus in the country to earn official recognition from the  BEE Protective Campaign, led by Beyond Pesticides and Center for Food Safety. The university joins an expanding list of communities across the country to take action to protect pollinators in the absence of federal regulation, including Eugene, OR,   Spokane, WA, and most recently, Shorewood, Minnesota. “We are very pleased that Vermont Law School has taken the lead on going neonic-free, and hope other universities and communities will follow suit,” said Nichelle Harriott, Senior Staff Scientist at Beyond Pesticides. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. These systemic pesticides, which  move through the plant’s vascular system and express themselves through pollen and nectar,  include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. A growing body of science has implicated neonicotinoids, which are applied to or  incorporated into seeds for agricultural, ornamental  and garden plants, as a key factor in recent global bee die-offs. Beekeepers across the country reported losses […]

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25
Jul

Midwest Waterways Contaminated with Persistent Neonicotinoid Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, July 25, 2014) A new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study published yesterday found neonicotinoid pesticides persistent and prevalent in streams throughout the Midwestern United States. The study is the first to investigate the presence of neonicotinoids on a wide-scale level in the Midwest. While neonicotinoid use has increased throughout the country, the Midwest in particular has seen a dramatic increase over the last decade. The use of clothianidin, one of the chemicals studied, on corn in Iowa alone has approximately doubled in just two years, from 2011 and 2013. Neonicotinoids are chemically similar to nicotine and are pesticides that are toxic to a broad range of insect pests. They are also known as systemic pesticides, which are pesticides that spread throughout the entire plant structure, making everything from roots to pollen toxic to organisms that come in contact with it. As a result, neonicotinoids have been linked to the global disappearance of honey bees and other nontarget organisms, such as earthworms, birds, and aquatic invertebrates. USGS scientist Kathryn Kuivila, Ph.D., stated, “Neonicotinoid insecticides are receiving increased attention by scientists as we explore the possible links between pesticides, nutrition, infectious disease, and other stress factors in the environment possibly […]

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08
Jul

Late Breaking News: Groups Challenge California’s Approval of Bee-Killing Pesticides

State rubber stamps expanded usage before determining effects on crop pollinators (Beyond Pesticides, July 8, 2014) Today, environmental and food safety groups challenged California’s illegal practice of approving new agricultural uses for neonicotinoid pesticides despite mounting evidence that the pesticides are devastating honeybees. Pesticide Action Network, Center for Food Safety, and Beyond Pesticides, represented by Earthjustice, filed the legal challenge in the California Superior Court for the County of Alameda, urging the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to stop approving neonicotinoid pesticides pending its completion of a comprehensive scientific review of impacts to honeybees.   DPR began its scientific review in early 2009 after it received evidence that neonicotinoids are killing bees, but five years later, DPR has yet to take meaningful action to protect bees. Meanwhile, DPR has continued to allow increased use of neonicotinoids in California.   Today’s lawsuit challenges DPR’s June 13, 2014 decision to expand the use of two powerful neonicotinoid insecticides — sold under the trademarks Venom Insecticide and Dinotefuran 20SG — despite the agency’s still-pending review of impacts to pollinators.   The case underscores these larger problems with the DPR’s unwillingness to comply with laws enacted to ensure that pesticides do not threaten […]

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25
Jun

Scientists Call for Global Action with Release of “Worldwide Assessment” of Bee-Harming Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 25, 2014) Following last week’s celebration of “National Pollinator Week” and a presidential memorandum mandating federal action on bees, the first wide-scale scientific analysis has been released that links  two classes of pesticides  to declining bee populations. Twenty-nine scientists representing many disciplines reviewed over 800 peer-reviewed publications  on the impacts of systemic pesticides, and are recommending  more restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides. This report is the single most comprehensive study of  neonicotinoids ever  undertaken. The “Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA)” ”” undertaken by the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides ”” documents significant harms to bees and ecosystems. While some aspects of this report have been broadly acknowledged  before (e.g. risks to honey bees), some, including risks to earthworms, birds and aquatic invertebrates, have not. The analysis focuses not only on impacts to particular  organisms and habitats, but also on  biodiversity and ecosystem impacts, taking a holistic view of pesticide effects. The scientists are calling for new, dramatic restrictions on bee-harming pesticides in the United States and beyond. The report  finds that the current regulatory system has failed to consider the full  range of pesticide effects. “This report should be a final wake up call for American regulators who have […]

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20
Jun

Spokane to Vote on Monday to Ban Neonicotinoids

(Beyond Pesticides, June 19, 2014) The city of Spokane, Washington is inching ever closer to a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, a class of chemicals that has been linked to the global disappearance of honey bee populations. If the ban passes, Spokane will soon be part of a growing movement to protect pollinators. The Spokane City Council will be voting on the neonicotinoid ordinance this Monday, June 23. The ban will halt both the purchase and use by the city of products that contain neonicotinoids. The ordinance specifically names six types of neonicotinoids used on crops, imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotefuran, acetamiprid, and thiacloprid, and explains that the majority of these chemicals “are highly toxic to bees, can reduced [sic] fecundity, depress the bees immune system, and increase susceptibility to biological infections, and, depending on the amount of exposure, can be lethal/ sub-lethal to the honey bees.” You can read more about the exact wording of this proposed ordinance here. Council President Ben Stuckart, who introduced the ordinance, wants the city to stop using the chemicals on its properties. The ban would be part of an undertaking to implement environmentally sustainable initiatives at City Hall. The ordinance would affect all city departments […]

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19
Jun

First Colorado “Bee Safe” Neighborhood Established

(Beyond Pesticides, June 18, 2014) Just in time for Pollinator Week, the Melody-Catalpa neighborhood of Boulder has become the first “bee-safe” locality in Colorado that has pledged to not use neonicotinoids and other systemic pesticides in the community, in an effort to protect bees and other pollinators, and provide safe forage and habitat. Melody-Catalpa joins other small communities across the country in taking a stand against bee decline by committing to not use pesticides toxic to bees and other pollinators. The small community north of Boulder signed a pledge not to use neonicotinoids and similar systemic pesticides, and is buzzing with excitement over earning the distinction. This past spring, the City of Eugene, Oregon became the first community in the nation to specifically ban from city property the use of  neonicotinoid pesticides, citing recent research demonstrating a link between pesticides that contain neonicotinoids and the loss of plant pollinators, including honey bees, native bees, butterflies, moths, and other beneficial  insects. Melody-Catalpa’s grassroots action began earlier this year when three neighborhood residents banded together to sign on about 20 volunteers to go door to door to get more than half of the area’s 389 households to sign a pledge not to […]

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17
Jun

Beyond Pesticides Releases Pollinator-Friendly Seed Directory for Pollinator Week

(Beyond Pesticides, June 17, 2014) Given that plant starts in many garden centers across the country are grown from seeds coated with bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides, or drenched with them, Beyond Pesticides has launched the Pollinator-Friendly Seed Directory, a comprehensive list of companies that sell organic seeds to the general public. Included in this directory are seeds for vegetables, flowers, and herbs. As bees suffer serious declines in their populations, we urge people and communities to plant habitat that supports pollinator populations, and have provided information to facilitate this in our BEE Protective Habitat Guide, as well as our how-to guide on managing landscapes with pollinators in mind. Unfortunately, plants are too often grown with hazardous pesticides that either harm pollinators in their cultivation or threaten bees as they pollinate or forage on treated plants. Last summer, a groundbreaking report revealed that many bee-friendly garden plants sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s contain neonicotinoid pesticides with no warning to consumers. Neonicotinoid residues were detected in seven out of thirteen samples (54 percent) of commercial nursery plants. In response to this report, Beyond Pesticides, along with Friends of the Earth and other allies, launched a campaign to tell major retailers to stop […]

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18
Feb

Advocates Urge California Officials to “Show Bees Some Love”

(Beyond Pesticides, February 18, 2014) On Valentine’s Day, Beyond Pesticides, Pesticide Action Network, and Center for Food Safety, represented by Earthjustice, submitted detailed comments to state officials urging them to stop approving pesticides linked to bee declines. The groups also underscored larger problems with the Department of Pesticide Regulation’s inability to complete evaluations of pesticides after five years. “California officials are rushing to approve yet another systemic bee-harming pesticide before they fully understand the range of impacts,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides and one of the groups that also filed federal comments. “After five years of evaluation, state officials continue to rubber stamp new products that are known to harm bees,” said Paul Towers, Organizing & Media Director for Pesticide Action Network. “The problem is urgent and unless California officials take swift action, they put California’s food system and agricultural economy at risk.” A growing body of independent science links a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) to bee declines, both alone and in combination with other factors like disease and malnutrition. Oregon officials determined the neonic dinotefuran was the cause of two massive bee kills in the state last year. In the letter submitted on Friday, […]

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07
Jan

Oregon Legislation To Restrict Home Use of Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, January 7, 2014) An Oregon state representative, Rep. Jeff Reardon (D-Portland), plans to introduce legislation in February that will effectively ban for home and garden use  certain neonicotinoid pesticides implicated in mass bee deaths this  summer. This legislation is part of the growing national effort to ban or restrict the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Last year, the Save America’s Pollinators Act was introduced by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to ban the use of neonicotinoids nationally. Rep. Reardon’s legislation would add neonicotinoid pesticides dinotefuran, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam to Oregon’s restricted pesticide use list. Under Oregon’s pesticide administrative rules,restricted use pesticides can only be applied by licensed pesticide applicators. Pesticide dealers are also required  to keep records of product sales of these pesticides and maintain sales records for at least three years. The legislation would also require the state to implement special training and testing to ensure licensed pesticide applicators know how to minimize risk to   pollinators. “These are dangerous chemicals. People who aren’t willing to take the time and effort to become fully educated should look for alternatives,” Rep. Reardon told The Oregonian. Though this legislation would limit the amount of neonicotinoid pesticides directly applied to lawns […]

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25
Nov

Oregon Restricts Some Neonicotinoid Pesticide Uses after Bee Kills

(Beyond Pesticides, November 25, 2013) The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has restricted two pesticide products linked to massive bee die offs experienced in Oregon earlier this year. Both pesticides are neonicotinoid chemicals that are extremely harmful to bees. Though these restrictions are an important step in protecting bee health, the new rules will still not limit all of the uses of these chemicals that can harm pollinators. ODA placed restrictions on dinotefuran and imidacloprid, banning their use  on linden trees, basswood and other trees of the Tilia genus. Pesticide products that contain these active ingredients are now required to have Oregon-specific labels. This is only the second time in the past ten years that ODA has regulated pesticides more strictly than federal standards. These new restriction comes after ODA adopted a temporary rule in June that limited the use of 18 pesticide products that contained diontefuran. That rule was set to expire next month. States and local jurisdictions  have authority under the nation’s pesticide registration law, the  Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), to adopt more stringent pesticide use restrictions than the federal government. However, after the U.S.  Congress rejected proposals to preempt local authority and the Supreme […]

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21
Oct

Study Identifies Garden Plants Most Attractive to Insect Pollinators

(Beyond Pesticides, October 21, 2013) A study conducted by Sussex University researchers has identified the garden plants most attractive to  pollinating insects. The study’s findings are important as pollinating insects are declining globally and are facing growing habitat losses. The study also gives vital scientific information to individuals and communities on plants that are most beneficial to pollinators. Although creating pollinator friendly habits is an important step to slowing pollinator population decline, environmental groups and activists are focused on addressing the underlying problem that leads to pollinator population loss: the continuous use of toxic pesticides. The study, Quantifying variation among garden plants in attractiveness to bees and other flower-visiting insects, published in Functional Ecology,  collected data over two summers by counting flower-visiting pollinators on 32 popular garden plant varieties to determine which varieties are more attractive to pollinators. The study found that the most attractive flowers are 100 times more attractive than the least attractive flowers. According to the study, the most attractive flowers are borage, lavender, marjoram, and open-flower dahlias. Majoram was the best all-round flower, attracting honey bees, bumble bees, other bees, hover flies, and butterflies. While information on pollinator friendly flowers is widely available, this study was […]

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16
Aug

On National Honey Bee Day, Ask Retailers to Stop Selling Bee-Killing Products

(Beyond Pesticides, August 16, 2013) Beyond Pesticides just helped release a new report with Friends of the Earth and other allies, revealing that the world’s most popular pesticide, neonicotinoids, implicated as a key factor in global bee die-offs, may be lurking in our own gardens. As we celebrate National Honey Bee Day this weekend, join in asking Lowe’s, Home Depot and other leading garden centers to take action and stop the sale of neonicotinoids and plants treated with these bee-killing chemicals. Take Action: Bee Protective! Tell Home Depot, Lowe’s and others to stop selling bee-killing products. There are now dozens of insecticides on retail shelves that contain neonicotinoids. Product labels show the active ingredients of these products, including: imidacloprid,  acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. While neonicotinoids is a relatively new class of insecticide that affects the central nervous system of insects, a growing body of science has demonstrated neonicotinoids (neonics) are a key factor in bee decline nationwide, with beekeepers recording losses of up to 90 percent of their bees this winter. Recently, 50,000 bumblebees, likely representing over 300 colonies, were found dead or dying in a shopping mall parking lot in Wilsonville, Oregon. Authorities confirmed that this […]

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15
Aug

Garden Centers Sell Bee-Attractant Plants with Pesticide Residues Toxic to Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2013) Many “bee friendly” home garden plants sold at Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) and other leading garden centers have been treated with pesticides shown to harm and kill bees, according to a pilot study released yesterday by   Friends of the Earth-US, Beyond Pesticides,  and others.  Supporting organizations sent a  letter  yesterday —along with petitions signed by more than 175,000 people— to Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target and other top garden retailers, asking the stores to stop selling neonicotinoids and plants treated with the pesticides. A majority of the UK’s largest garden retailers, including Homebase, B&Q and Wickes, have already stopped selling neonicotinoids. The pilot study, co-authored by the Pesticide Research Institute, found that 7 of 13 samples of garden plants purchased at top retailers in Washington DC, the San Francisco Bay Area and Minneapolis contain neurotoxic pesticides known as neonicotinoids that studies show harm or kill bees and other pollinators. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. These systemic pesticides, which  move through the plant’s vascular system and express themselves through pollen […]

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03
Jul

Groups Appeal to President Obama to Suspend Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, July 3, 2013) In light of recent action in Europe to suspend to use of certain neonicotinoid pesticides, Beyond Pesticides joined 12 other environmental and advocacy organizations in urging the Obama administration to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow the European Union’s (EU) lead in recognizing that risks posed by these pesticides are unacceptably high, and suspend the use of these chemicals in the U.S. to protect pollinators and the nation’s agricultural economy. The letter urges the Obama administration to not only direct EPA to follow Europe’s lead in suspending certain neonicotinoid pesticides uses, but requests even more protective measures, including a minimum two-year suspension for all outdoor uses of neonicotinoid insecticides pending resolution of their hazards to bees and beneficial organisms. Highlighting the negative environmental and economic impacts of outdoor uses of the EPA-approved neonicotinoid insecticides: imidacloprid, clothianidin  , thiamethoxam, dinetofuran and acetamiprid, as well as a recognition that the initial risk assessments for these chemicals fail to adequately consider key risks to bee health, the letter to President Obama notes that it, “would not be responsible to continue to allow these threatening compounds to be used so broadly.” On average, U.S. beekeepers lost […]

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02
Jul

In Wake of Massive Bee Kills, Oregon Temporarily Bans Some Pesticide Uses

(Beyond Pesticides, July 2, 2013) In the wake of massive bee kills, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is placing temporary restrictions on the use of pesticides with the active ingredient dinotefuran. Dinotefuran, a neonicotinoid pesticide, was confirmed as the cause of one massive bee die-off in Wilsonville, Oregon, and suspected as the cause of another bee die off in Hillsboro, Oregon. This temporary restriction will be in place for 180 days for a limited number of dinotefuran uses. Environmental advocates have sued EPA  on neonicotinoid  pesticides, citing its regulatory process  as deficient in  protecting bees and other beneficial organisms. Just as Pollinator Week 2013 began, an estimated 50,000 bumblebees, likely representing over 300 colonies, were found dead or dying in Wilsonville. According to the Xerces Society, this was the largest known incident of bumblebee deaths ever recorded in the country. After a preliminary investigation, ODA confirmed that the massive bee die-off was caused by the use of the insecticide dinotefuran. Then, it was reported by The Oregonian that hundreds of bees were found dead after the same pesticide was used in the neighboring town of Hillsboro. Dan Hilburn, director of plant programs at the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), […]

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