Walmart and True Value have joined a growing number of retailers in deciding to eliminate neonicotinoid pesticides from their retail garden supply chains. Research shows that Neonicotinoids are highly toxic to bees and other beneficial insects.
Costco, Home Depot, Lowes and over 100 other home and garden retailers across the country have already made firm commitments to phase out pesticide products containing neonicotinoids and urge suppliers to stop spraying pesticides containing neonicotinoids on garden plants intended for sale in garden centers.
A study released by Friends of the Earth and the Pesticide Research Institute in August 2016 revealed that pesticides containing neonicotinoids were used to treat home and garden plants labeled “bee-friendly” and sold in garden centers by major retailers.
Neonicotinoid pesticides are applied directly to plants and seeds and are absorbed into the plant tissues. By becoming part of the plant, they provide long-term protection from chewing and sap-sucking insects.
Neonicotinoids are less toxic to humans and mammals than pesticides used in the past, but are highly toxic to bees and other beneficial insects.
Bees are most often exposed through the consumption of contaminated nectar or pollen.
Pollinators, like bees, provide a free and essential service by supporting the reproduction of 85% of the world’s flowering plants and 35% of crop production around the globe. In the United States, honey bees are a fundamental component of an estimated $15 billion dollars in annual crop production.
While a direct connection between neonicotinoids and colony collapse disorder (CCD) has not been established, research indicates that exposure to pesticides, including neonicotinoids, make honey bees more susceptible to parasites, viruses, and the intestinal parasite Nosema, which has been linked to CCD.