Farmers, scientists face off against activists as New Hampshire mulls neonic insecticide ban

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Image: Friends of the Earth Europe

Farmers, lawn service scientists and educators supplied stinging criticism [October 8] of legislation that activists are pursuing to ban the use of pesticides that can be toxic to bees.

The bill would impose a ban on most uses of pesticides [called neonicotinoids] that are toxic to bees in response to a massive decline in the bee population [in New Hampshire] and in many other states.

[Editor’s note: Read The world faces ‘pollinator collapse’? How and why the media get the science wrong time and again to learn more.]

“We know these pesticide companies are very powerful, but it’s not good for the human environment if we fail to address these losses to the bee population,” said Louise Spencer, a member of the liberal Kent Street Coalition.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Plant biodiversity cuts pesticide use, but may slash crop yields needed to feed more people

The subcommittee heard more than two hours of testimony from opponents of the ban who argued there is more to the decline than pesticide spraying and that the chemicals targeted are among the safest on the market.

Anna Wallingford, a University of New Hampshire extension specialist …. says the body of science on the topic is still maturing. “This is too complicated,” Wallingford said

Many farmers urged the panel to kill the bill and said lawmakers should rely on the expertise of the state Pesticide Control Board, which has regulated pesticide use in the state for more than 50 years.

Read full, original article: Bee saviors stung by criticism over proposed pesticide ban

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