For Immediate Release

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Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744, pdavis@foe.org

Vermont Passes Bill to Reduce Bee-Killing Pesticides

As bee populations decline, a major victory for pollinators in Vermont

MONTPELIER, VT - Environmental advocates applauded as a bill to protect pollinators by reducing pesticides harmful to bees was signed into law on Friday, May 31, 2019.

The bill (H.205) regulates neonicotinoid pesticides because of their particular toxicity to bees. Neonicotinoids are systemic in nature, meaning that the chemicals make the entire plant, pollen and nectar toxic. Neonicotinoids stay present in the environment months or years after application and even in small amounts, these pesticides kill bees.

The bill classifies the neonicotinoid family of pesticides as “restricted use” in Vermont, restricting use to trained applicators.

“Beekeepers across Vermont are losing hives at an alarming rate. The least we can do is keep bee-killing pesticides out of our state,” said Shaina Kasper, Vermont and New Hampshire State Director at Toxics Action Center. “We need bees to keep our food system healthy. This law is an importing step to protecting them.”

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“We applaud Vermont in adopting this bill to ban pollinator toxic pesticides. Given Trump’s EPA, Vermont’s action on this issue is more important than ever to help address the pollinator crisis,” said Tiffany Finck-Haynes, pesticides and pollinators program manager at Friends of the Earth.

Vermont beekeepers lost an average of 57 percent of their hives from 2017-2018, according to the Bee Informed Partnership. Vermont’s rate is even higher than the national average of 40 percent loss over the same time period.

Vermont joins states like Maryland and Connecticut that have passed laws to designate neonicotinoids as restricted-use pesticides. In 2018, the 28 countries in the European Union adopted a total ban on outdoor use of neonicotinoids.

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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