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Massachusetts Fails to Protect Pollinators

Friends of the Earth condemns state for failing to pass common sense restrictions on neonicotinoid insecticides

BOSTON – The Massachusetts legislature failed to pass legislation yesterday that would restrict the use of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides. H. 4041, An Act to Protect Massachusetts Pollinators, would have restricted the use of neonics to licensed pesticide applicators only.

Jason Davidson, Food and Agriculture Campaign Associate at Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement in response:

Bees and other essential pollinators are dying off at alarming rates, and harmful insecticides are largely to blame. It is extremely disappointing to see the Massachusetts legislature ignore this devastating problem and fail to pass this much-needed bill. These common sense restrictions on neonics would have been a boon for the environment and food system of Massachusetts. The legislature has ignored the support and expertise of more than 180 scientists, businesses, beekeepers, farmers and conservationists who formally endorsed this bill.

The failure of the state legislature comes after Massachusetts beekeepers lost 65 percent of their honeybee hives last year, a rate 25 percent higher than the national average. Thousands of scientific studies implicate neonicotinoids as a key contributor to these declines.

During the legislative session, more than 100 Massachusetts scientists and academics sent a letter to the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture in support of H. 4041. However, the clock ran out at midnight, July 31, when the legislative session came to an end.

Communications Contact: Erin Jensen, (202) 222-0722, ejensen@foe.org

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