Don’t worry about insecticides and garden plants

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Following Friends of the Earth issuing its Gardeners Beware report that 51 percent of garden plants sampled at major garden retailers in 18 cities in the U.S. and Canada contain neonicotinoid insecticide, some garden retailers are moving to either require labeling that the plants have been treated with a neonic or requiring suppliers to not use neonic insecticides. The move is premature and an unwarranted action, according to manufacturers of the neonicotinoid insecticides.

Home Depot was called out by the Friends of the Earth as one of the garden plant retailers in its report, and the large home supply company did a quick knee-jerk reaction to require labeling and also wanting suppliers to look at providing plants not treated with neonicotinoids.

Friends of the Earth is blaming neonicotinoid use for the decline of honeybees, and companies like Home Depot are going along based on speculative unproven science. The report from Friends of the Earth didn’t clearly explain how having neonicotinoid pesticide residue in garden plants should be a concern about honey bees, especially since most of the garden plants supplied to garden centers would have been grown in greenhouse situations without honey bees being present. There definitely wasn’t any proof that plants taken home and planted would have neonicotinoid levels in flower pollen sufficient to be any concern to honey bee health.

Bayer CropScience, one manufacturer of neonicotinoid insecticides, but also a major researcher into the demise of honey bee populations, issued the following statement:  

Consumers have come to depend upon the benefits of neonicotinoids for beautiful plants found at retailers and healthy gardens around their home. Bayer CropScience is committed to the environmentally safe use of plant products and technologies that help sustain them.

Plant protection products, including neonicotinoids, are extensively reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make sure they are safe for humans and the environment before they reach the market. Neonicotinoids have been shown to have minimal environmental impact while protecting plants from destructive pests. More than 100 studies have concluded that when used according to label instructions, neonicotinoids are not harmful to bee colonies.

“We believe that without the use of modern technologies, not only will our beautiful landscapes be threatened, but agriculture cannot achieve the level of food production necessary to feed the world in the years ahead,” said Jim Blome, president and CEO of Bayer CropScience in North America. “Coordinated attacks by activist groups are actually detracting from evidence-based science pointing to the true stressors to honey bee health.”

A report issued last year by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the EPA said honey bee health is being impacted by a wide range of factors including lack of forage, disease, and parasites. In fact, the USDA recently identified the Varroa mite as the most important factor related to honey bee colony decline. Australia uses neonicotinoids and has not experienced colony decline, possibly because honey bees there have not been threatened by invasion of the Varroa mite.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (1) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Susan Tidwell    
Maryland  |  July, 01, 2014 at 08:36 AM

OH sure, trust Monsanto, Bayer, BASF etc.....People trusted Big Tobacco too. They 'do their own research' so they can manipulate the outcome to further postpone the inevitable result: the extinction of the honey bee, Monarch butterflies and produce as we know it. Oh sure BIG AG BIZ, I TRUST YOU!!!

Demco 1400 Grain Cart

Demco offers a 1400 bushel grain cart to provide unmatched efficiency and operator convenience. In addition to the large 1400 ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form