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Daily News Blog

18
Apr

Scotts Miracle-Gro To Eliminate Neonics in Ortho Brand

(Beyond Pesticides, April 18, 2016) Major pesticide manufacturer Scotts Miracle Gro announced on Tuesday that it will immediately being phasing out neonicotinoid insecticides, including imidacloprid, clothianidin, and dinotefuran from its outdoor-use Ortho brand by 2017. Neonicotinoids (neonics) have  consistently been implicated  as a major contributing factor in pollinator declines. They can cause  changes in bee reproduction, navigation, and foraging, and even the suppression of bee immune systems. In its press release, the Ortho brand announced that it was partnering with Pollinator Stewardship Council to help educate homeowners on the “safe and appropriate use of pesticides.”

Susan Quals Algood TN Honeybee on Yellow Crownbeard2“While agencies in the United States are still evaluating the overall impact of neonics on pollinator populations, it’s time for Ortho to move on.” Tim Martin, general manager of the Ortho brand said. “As the category leader, it is our responsibility to provide consumers with effective solutions that they know are safe for their family and the environment when used as directed. We encourage other companies and brands in the consumer pest control category to follow our lead.”

Neonics have emerged as the leading class of pesticides responsible for bee decline. While neonicotinoid insecticides have been responsible for high profile bee kills from high doses of the pesticides, there is a strong and growing body of science shows that neonics contribute to impairment in reproduction, learning and memory, hive communications, and immune response at doses far below those that cause bee kills. An extensive overview of major studies showing the effects of neonics on pollinator health can be found on Beyond Pesticides’ What the Science Shows webpage.

Scotts Miracle-Gro joins the ranks of other major companies like Aldi (a supermarket chain) and Home Depot (the world’s largest home-improvement chain), who have each committed to phasing out neonicotinoid insecticides. Companies across the U.S. have begun to phase-out neonics at the request of environmental allies and consumers. In January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its preliminary pollinator assessment for the neonic imidacloprid, which finds various residues of the chemical in crops where the pollinators forage, and confirms bees’ widespread and sustained exposure to the highly toxic and persistent chemical through poisoned pollen and nectar. However, calls to suspend the use of these pesticides have been ignored.

Smaller retailers have also taken notice and are working on removing neonics and other toxic pesticides from their shelves. Eldredge Lumber and Hardware in York, Maine has transitioned its  shelves from harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers to organic compatible materials.  Eldredge is encouraging consumers to employ alternatives by consciously stocking its shelves with organic compatible products. Efforts by local businesses to stock alternatives and educate consumers on their use is an example of creating change through grassroots efforts and a bottom-up approach. See Beyond Pesticides’ video  Making the Switch, which highlights Eldredge Lumber and Hardware’s efforts to orient its customers towards safer management practices.

For more on what you can do to help pollinators, visit out  Bee Protective program page.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Scotts Miracle-Gro

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  • Archives

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