Scientists have taken note that some pesticides on seed coating and soybean seeds are actually deadly for bees, even harming or killing large populations. Because of this, the Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, has issued an order to limit the use of these particular pesticides, known as neonicotinoids. [1]

As mentioned, it isn’t all pesticides that are the root of the problem; it’s neonicotinoids, or neonics for short, which are nicotine-based. Such pesticides are effective at keeping pests away, but they may also be causing irreversible damage to our world’s and nation’s pollinators.

Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing how deadly neonics are to bees, the agency hasn’t decided to make any formal moves thus far. This while some department stores, communities in the US, and even nations in the EU taking their own actions on its use due to the possible bee-decimating connection. [2]

Some Farmers Aren’t So Happy

Farm groups, however, are worried about whether or not this new move will affect their crops or harm their profits. Dayton has stated that he is willing to compromise, allowing concerned farmers to use neonics in the future if they can demonstrate that there is a threat of “severe crop loss.” However, he hasn’t currently made note of how farmers will be able to go about doing so.

Many farmers are unhappy with the decision, calling it a “knee-jerk” reaction and are worried that limiting pesticides will lead to resistance.

Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson has stated that based on the 300 or so studies that have been done, this restriction is more than necessary. He is also looking to expand it to seeds, as many are treated with the pesticide before they are even planted. He estimates that 80% of seeds are treated with neonics before even being planted.

Lawmakers emphasize the importance of this new legislation, stating that honeybees pollinate over $17 million worth of crops in the United States each year. As such, they are an integral part of food production in the United States.

Lex Horan of Pesticide Action Network has stated:

We know that pesticides are a huge factor in pollinator decline and Minnesota is the first agricultural state to take bold action on neonicotinoids including calling on the state to regulate the major issue of pesticide seed coatings.

Meanwhile, Minnesota government officials hope that other states will soon follow in their footsteps.

This article originally appeared at Natural Society.


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