Farmers, environmental advocacy groups disagree on neonicotinoids’ impact on bees

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The U.S. Public Interest Research Group is among the organizations lobbying the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, which are commonly used on crops.

U.S. PIRG has said that while it supports complete bans, it is only advocating for a ban on private sales for now.

Chelsea McGuire, the Arizona Farm Bureau’s director of government relations, said her group would oppose anything that would limit the ability of farmers to utilize the tools at their disposal.

That includes a partial ban, viewing it as a slippery slope to an agricultural ban.

McGuire said in an email that farmers use neonicotinoids in pest management and use them “responsibly and carefully, so as to protect the pollinator populations that are required to pollinate a farmer’s crops.”

Related article:  Facing decimated yields, French sugar-beet growers demand access to banned neonicotinoid insecticides

McGuire said causes of the bee population decline are too multifaceted to be blamed exclusively on neonicotinoids.

McGuire cited climate change and the varroa mite, a parasitic mite that affects bees, as contributing factors in the declining population.

The U.S. PIRG agreed that a warming planet and varroa mites are contributing factors, but contends neonicotinoids are the main problem.

Read full, original post: Advocacy groups pressure state to ban bee-killing pesticides

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