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Oregon considers new restrictions, labels for neonicotinoid insecticides over bee health concerns

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Photo: Mateusz Perkowski, Capital Press
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Neonicotinoid pesticides, which critics blame for death and illness among pollinators, would be subject to new restrictions and labeling rules under two bills proposed in Oregon.

Labels would be required for pesticides containing neonicotinoids, as well as seeds and raw crops treated with the chemicals, under Senate Bill 928.

The entire class of neonicotinoid insecticides would be restricted under Senate Bill 929 to only be available to licensed pesticide applicators, farmers and veterinarians.

A March 27 hearing on the two bills before the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee attracted an overflow audience, including some supporters adorned with insect antenna headbands, wings and striped black-and-yellow outfits.

Proponents of the bill argued that studies have linked neonicotinoid pesticides to the decline of honey bees and other pollinators, adversely affecting their biological processes even when the exposure isn’t lethal.

Related article:  Health Canada sticks with phase out of neonicotinoid insecticides although its study finds impact on bees is limited

It makes sense to limit neonicotinoid availability to farmers and others who are trained to use them judiciously, since many retail buyers don’t carefully read pesticide instructions and often assume more is better, she said.

Opponents of the bill argue the threat of neonicotinoids to pollinators is overstated, since they’re unlikely to come across the chemicals in the field at the same high concentrations they would in laboratory experiments.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Labels, restrictions proposed for neonicotinoid pesticides

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