Friday, April 10, 2015

Lowes joins Home Improvement, other chains, in saying it will phase out pesticides harmful to bees

Eco Watch graphic
Home improvement chain Lowes said it will phase out pesticides blamed for the decline of bee colonies, Nandita Bose reports for Reuters. The corporation said it will eliminate neonicotinoids "by the spring of 2019, as suitable alternatives become available."

A 2014 study by environment groups Friends of the Earth and Pesticide Research Institute "showed that 51 percent of garden plants purchased at Lowe's, Home Depot and Walmart in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contained neonicotinoid pesticides at levels that could harm or even kill bees," Bose writes.

Several major U.S. companies, including Home Depot, said in June 2014 that they would eliminate neonicotinoids and were making a push to get suppliers to label any plants treated with the pesticides. The U.S. loses about one third of its bee population annually, and the number of colonies has dropped from about 4 million in the 1970s to 2.5 million today.

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