The evidence against neonicotinoid pesticides keeps piling up. But will it be enough to get the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to act in time?
Friends of the Earth (FOE) yesterday (June 25, 2014) released results of a second study on so-called “bee-friendly” garden plants sold at Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart stores. According to the report, more than half of the plant samples tested in 18 U.S. cities contained neonic pesticides at levels that could harm or kill bees.
How would gardeners know that? They wouldn’t. Because there’s no mention of the pesticide on the plant’s label.
The FOE report followed on the heels of a new (June 24, 2014) meta-analysis of 800 peer-reviewed studies released this week by the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, a global group of independent scientists. The report confirms that neonics are a key factor in bee declines.
The Task Force called for immediate regulatory action to restrict neonics.
Meanwhile, here in the U.S., in response to National Pollinator Week, (which was hijacked by the chemical companies that sell the poisons that kill the bees), the Obama Administration has come up with a weak, at best, plan that caters to the pesticide industry by spreading around the blame for Colony Collapse Disorder, instead of taking immediate action to ban neonics.
Consumers, however, aren’t waiting around. Tens of thousands of people have signed petitions, sent letters and taken to the streets asking retailers, including Home Depot and Lowe’s, to stop selling neonic pesticides. So far, nearly a dozen landscaping companies and retailers are taking steps to eliminate neonic pesticides from their garden plants and stores, including BJ’s Wholesale Club, with more than 200 stores in 15 states.
We’re still waiting for Home Depot and Lowe’s to follow suit.
The OCA organized a media event in Portland, Maine, one of the 18 cities where bee-friendly plants were tested. Events also took place in Detroit, St. Augustine, Fla., Boulder, Colo., New York, Raleigh, N.C., Austin, Texas and Eugene, Ore.