Lowe’s Phasing Out Neonicotinoids After Public Pressure To Save The Honeybees

Lowe’s will begin phasing out neonicotinoids in all stores. Neonicotinoids are used in a host of popular chemical herbicides and pesticides and may be linked to the massive deaths of honeybees which have been occurring since 2005.

A 2014 Harvard study states that neonicotinoids are likely a colony collapse disorder culprit. Honeybees provide pollination for 70 percent of the food we grow to eat. The Harvard honeybee study was published in the Bulletin of Insectology. The university scientists studied 18 honeybee colonies in Massachusetts for about one year, and reviewed how even low doses of two types of neonicotinoids — clothianidin and imidacloprid — impacted healthy honeybee hives over the winter.

They placed the hives in three locations and at each spot gave four hives high fructose corn syrup laced with neonicotinoids and left two hives untouched. The result: Half the hives that came into contact with the insecticide suffered colony collapse disorder. The bees that were left were not doing great. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have long claimed that insecticides containing neonicotinoids are safe, but the Harvard study found otherwise.

Here’s an excerpt from the Lowe’s neonicotinoids related 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

“Lowe’s is committed to regularly reviewing the products and information we offer customers and we’re taking the following actions to support pollinator health: phasing out the sale of products that contain neonic pesticides within 48 months as suitable alternatives become commercially available, working with growers to eliminate the use of neonic pesticides on bee-attractive plants we sell, encouraging growers to use biological control programs, educating employees and customers through in-store resources such as brochures, fact sheets and product labels, including greater organic and non-neonic product selections.”

A vocal public campaign to push Lowe’s to stop selling neonicotinoids was spearheaded by Friends of the Earth U.S. and was supported by Center for Food Safety and a variety of other groups. Those concern about the fate of the honeybees (and ultimately the human race) reportedly sent thousands of emails, posted to Lowe’s social media, and conducted rallies in front of Lowe’s stores nationwide in order to protect the pollinators.

“While there is still a lot of work left to do to reduce bees’ exposure to these harmful chemicals, this is a major step. The public has been calling for stronger protections for bees and other pollinators, and Lowe’s has finally listened to its customers to do just that,” Center for Food Safety Pollinator Campaign Director Larissa Walker said.

What do you think about Lowe’s phasing out products with neonicotinoids and the ever-decreasing honeybee population?

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