Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
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Is America's most common pesticide responsible for killing our bees?

The most widely used class of insecticides in the world is facing a slow death. Called neonicotinoids, or neonics, these bug killers have long been used to coat seeds or treat millions of acres of farmland in the US. Research showing that they sicken or kill bees and other pollinators has already prompted the European Union to temporary ban several varieties of the insecticides, and now neonics could lose their grip in North America, too.

 

Maryland is the first state to ban the use of neonics in homes and gardens, a law that will take effect in January 2018. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton issued an executive order last August that requires farmers to demonstrate a need for pest control before using neonics. The state’s agriculture department is also looking at tightening regulations governing seeds treated with the pesticides.

 

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which mandated new labels for neonics with clearer language on their proper use, temporarily halted the approval of new outdoor neonics while it reviews the risks posed by five types of the pesticides. It expects to publish its assessments and open them up for public comment starting this year.

 

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