'Landmark Victory': New York Passes Nation's First Legislation Restricting Bee-Killing Pesticides
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Common Dreams
Posted: June 18th, 2023
New York state on Friday became the first state in the nation to pass legislation restricting neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) that are toxic to bees and other pollinators and wildlife. The Birds and Bees Protection Act would eliminate 80 to 90% of the neonics used in New York each year by banning applications that are either easily replaceable or do not give an economic boost to farmers. "Every year for the past decade, New York beekeepers have lost more than 40% of their bee colonies–largely due to neonic pesticides," bill sponsor State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal said in a statement. "Today, in this landmark victory for our pollinators, economy, and farming industry, New York is working to reverse that trend." The bill ... bans the use of neonics to coat corn, soybean, and wheat seeds as well as for lawns and gardens. Neonics are a class of pesticides that work by attacking the nervous systems of insect pests. A lethal dose will cause paralysis and death, while non-lethal effects include memory, immune, navigation, and fertility problems. They are one of the deadliest pesticides out there, yet they are also the leading insecticide used in the U.S. This is a problem because about 95% of neonics used to coat seeds don't enter the plant at all, but instead spread into the environment via the soil, where they do not break down easily. They also harm the development of birds and mammals; and studies have linked ingredients of neoicotinoid insecticides with adverse human health outcomes as well.