So begins an article from the May 19 issue of the Addison Independent featuring Chas Mraz of Champlain Valley Apiaries who expressed dissapointment that H.626 was passed in a watered-down version that "did not ban neonicotinoids — even temporarily."
From the article:
"The problem was laid out clearly in H.626. As introduced, the bill listed a number of findings:
- Roughly a third of the global food supply and 75% of all agricultural crops — including many of the fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds we eat — depend on pollination by bees, birds and other wildlife.
- Native pollinators are vital to Vermont’s agricultural systems, and protecting their health is essential to preserving the viability of farming in the state.
- Neonicotinoid pesticides were introduced in the 1990s, were rapidly adopted by the farmers, and are now the world’s most widely applied class of pesticide.
- In Vermont, these pesticides are most commonly found as powdered coatings on seeds and are applied almost every time treated seed is planted.
- Seed coatings violate the science-based principles of integrated pest management, which recommend applying pesticides not on the presumption of a pest problem but only when pests are present at damaging levels and other control methods have failed.
- Consequently, the use or overuse of neonicotinoid pesticides has been linked to pollinator decline worldwide.
'The bill went on to cite multiple studies demonstrating the connections between neonicotinoid pesticides and colony collapse disorder or poor colony performance in bees.
"It pointed out that the Vermont Pollinator Protection Committee, created in 2016 by the Legislature, recommended multiple changes to the state’s pesticide rules to mitigate the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators.
"That was five years ago. None of those recommendations has been implemented." (Emphasis added.)
Please read and share the complete article with your legislators whether they serve in the House Agriculture & Forestry or Senate Agriculture committees or not. You may find your legislator's contact information here.
The Vermont Beekeepers Association is dissapointed that this issue has not been adequately addressed. VBA wants to educate the public and legislature as to the importance of passing effective legislation to deal with this issue. The science is established. There is no need to perform yet another study. VBA is developing a listing of links to be posted on the VBA website in support of the intent behind H.626 and will keep you apprised of any updates.