Thursday, June 26, 2014

Stores to require suppliers to label plants treated with pesticides blamed for killing honeybees

Several major U.S. companies, including Home Depot, have jumped on board the campaign to save honeybees, by working to eliminate or limit the use of pesticides blamed partly for the rapid decline of bee colonies, which pollinate 90 crops worldwide. Honeybees lost 23.5 percent of their population over the winter and have been losing population for years. Just last week President Obama created a task force to try to save the bees. 

The hope is to get suppliers to label any plants treated with neonicotinoid, or neonic, the pesticides blamed for bee deaths, Carey Gillam reports for Reuters. Home Depot will require such labeling beginning in the fourth quarter of this year. "BJ's Wholesale Club, a warehouse retailer with more than 200 locations along the East Coast, said it was asking all of its vendors to provide plants free of neonics by the end of 2014 or to label such products as requiring 'caution around pollinators' like bees. At least 10 other smaller retailers, with locations in Minnesota, Colorado, Maryland and California, have announced plans to limit or eliminate neonics from plant products." (Bee Informed graphic)

"The class of pesticides known as neonics are sold by agrichemical companies to boost yields of staple crops such as corn, but are also used widely on annual and perennial plants used in lawns and gardens," Gillam writes. "A report issued on Wednesday by the environmental group Friends of the Earth said that 36 out of 71, or 51 percent, of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contained neonic pesticides." (Read more)

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