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Neonicotinoids Under Fire


EGG-NEWS has previously defended the neonicotinoid class of insecticides as an effective method to control insect pests. For the past decade there has been concern that inappropriate application has resulted in adverse effects on bee colonies. It was hypothesized that the wider use of the insecticide class was responsible for the colony collapse syndrome although research has shown that this condition is multifactorial in causation.

The European Union recently enacted a ban on neonicotinoids and Canada is phasing out the class. It appears that problems arise from inappropriate administration in other than intensive agricultural enterprises. The class does not require special training and accordingly individual states are imposing bans of variable stringency.

North Carolina House Bill 559 termed the “Pollinator Protection Act” is intended to ban consumer use of neonicotinoids. Although opposed by major agricultural chemical manufacturers it is evident that indiscriminate use of neonicotinoids is deleterious to beneficial insects and the bill may well be enacted over opposition from legislators representing rural constituencies.