New York State is now the first in the nation to enact much-needed legislation limiting the use of neonics — neonicotinoid pesticides that are very high risk for bees, other pollinators, birds, and humans. These extremely toxic pesticides currently are used to coat corn, soybean, and wheat seeds, as well as for garden and lawn uses. ( See our previous coverage.)
Starting in 2027, the new law will eliminate 80%-90% of the neonics entering New York’s environment yearly, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). NRDC was one of many advocacy groups and elected state officials in a coalition supporting the new law.
Governor Hochul said, “By signing the Birds and Bees Protection Act, New York is taking a significant stride in protecting our kids, environment, and essential pollinators. This law underscores our commitment to fostering a thriving ecosystem while we prioritize sustainable farming and agricultural practices.”
The law provides for new research and development of cost-effective products that are safer. Eventually, the use of neonicotinoids will be adjusted so that farm and agriculture operations can better transition to new products.
State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, a sponsor of the legislation, noted “the EPA recently found that neonicotinoid pesticides are driving more than 200 species towards extinction, marking them as the most ecologically destructive pesticides since DDT.”
More information about the new law is here.
Photo courtesy New York League of Conservation Voters