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Vermont passes bill to ban consumer use of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides

BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Vermont Legislature today passed a bill banning consumer use of neonicotinoid pesticides by July 2019. During the legislative session, thousands of Friends of the Earth members in Vermont called and emailed their lawmakers in support of the bill

The ban comes just days after the United Nations released a global assessment that concluded one million species, including pollinators and other insects, are at risk of extinction and that the window of opportunity to protect biodiversity and our environment is rapidly closing.

Last year, Vermont beekeepers lost an average of 57 percent of their hives. A multitude of studies have concluded that neonicotinoid pesticides are a key factor in bee declines and are harming beneficial organisms essential to functional ecosystems and food production, including soil microbes, butterflies, earthworms, reptiles and birds.

In response to today’s vote, Tiffany Finck-Haynes, pesticides and pollinators program manager, issued the following statement:

These bee-killing pesticides pose a serious threat to public health, the environment and our entire food system. We commend Vermont’s precedent-setting leadership on pollinator protection and urge Gov. Scott to sign this bill into law.

With 40 percent of pollinators on the brink of extinction and scientific warnings of an insect apocalypse, this bill is a critical step to help curb this alarming decline before it is too late.

Expert contact: Tiffany Finck-Haynes, (202) 222-0715, tfinckhaynes@foe.org
Communications contact: Patrick Davis, (202) 222-0744, pdavis@foe.org

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