This pesticide kills pollinators and birds. It’s time to further restrict its use.
February 15, 2023 — The Connecticut General Assembly is in session and is considering a number of bills to better protect birds and the environment in general.
The Connecticut Audubon Society submitted testimony yesterday in support of a bill that would ban some uses of a pesticide that is particularly bad for pollinators and birds, and also asked for the proposal to be strengthened. We’ve been collaborating with the CT Pesticide Reform Coalition.
As the legislative session moves along, we might need you to speak out in favor of this bill.
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Our testimony provides concise and cogent reasons for restrictions:
The Connecticut Audubon Society would like to express its strong support for S.B. No. 963, “An Act Concerning Neonicotinoids for Non-Agricultural Use.” This bill would prohibit the nonagricultural use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
Neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) are generally systemic in nature, infusing all parts of a treated plant, from the roots to the pollen and nectar. They are very effective against pests. However they are non-specific, which is to say that they kill beneficial insects as well as pests.
Many studies have linked the decline of native pollinators with the use of neonic pesticides:
Neonics are persistent in the environment and are water soluble, meaning that they are easily transported from application sites to wild, untreated areas. Even if areas are set aside as pollinator habitat, they can become infused with neonics used upstream in the watershed.
Neonics can affect birds in multiple ways. Most birds are insectivorous and thus the loss of beneficial insects affects their prey base, but studies have also shown that neonics are directly toxic to birds. See here and here.
We are disappointed that this legislation does not include a ban on neonic treated seeds and highly recommend that a ban on such seeds be included in this legislation.
This bill has the support of both the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Please help us to address this important issue by supporting S.B. No. 963.