A leading brand of home and garden pest-control products says it will stop using a class of pesticides linked to the decline of bees.
Ortho, part of the Miracle-Gro family, says the decision to drop the use of the chemicals—called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short—comes after considering the range of possible threats to bees and other pollinators.
"While agencies in the U.S. are still evaluating the overall impact of neonics on pollinator populations, it's time for Ortho to move on," says Tim Martin, the general manager of the Ortho Brand.
The announcement comes on the heels of state legislation passed by the Maryland General Assembly to restrict the sales of retail home and garden products that contain neonics. The bill is now before Gov. Larry Hogan; his office tells us that he is currently reviewing it. Other states are also studying pollinator health and considering action, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
As we've reported, neonics are widely used in agriculture. Currently, at the direction of the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency is assessing the effect of neonicotinoid insecticides on the health of bees.