Help pass the Mass. Pollinator Protection Act!


Pollinators (which include honeybees and other pollinating insects and animals) are responsible for one in every three bites of food we eat. In Massachusetts, many of our most important crops require insect pollinators, including cranberries, blueberries, and apples. These and many other crops are threatened by the precipitous drop in pollinators, and an increasing number of studies point to a class of pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, as a primary culprit.

What are neonicotinoids and how are they currently regulated?

Since they first went on the market in the early 1990s, neonicotinoids-- a whole class of pesticides which are based on nicotine and attack receptors in insects' nervous systems—have come to dominate about thirty percent of the global pesticide market.

"Neonics," as they are often called, are:
 broad-spectrum (harmful to most insects),
  systemic (taken up by all plant parts, including roots and flowers),
 and persistent (sticks around in the environment for a long time, years in the case of soil)
and an increasing amount of research shows that they harm pollinators.

While the European Union suspended most uses of these pesticides in 2013, the U.S. EPA opted to allow current uses of neonicotinoids to continue while it conducts reviews that won't be completed until as late as 2019. Legislation to impose a moratorium has stalled in Congress, and is not likely to move any time soon...

What can we do in Massachusetts?

Proposed legislation (H.4041, a redraft of H.2113), introduced by Rep. Carolyn Dykema, would place commonsense restrictions on neonics and promote pollinator habitats in the state.

Update (March 22, 2018): The Pollinator Protection Act has a record number of cosponsors (135 out of 200 total legislators - see the list here)! It was passed unanimously from the Agriculture & Environment Committee late last year, and currently sits in the House Committee on Ways & Means.

This bill (H.4041):

• Requires that neonicotinoids be applied only by licensed or certified applicators
• Limits application during the blooming season to agricultural and horticultural uses
• Requires pesticide applicators to give the property owner a notice of risks associated with neonicotinoids to pollinators, and alternative products which could be used
• Neonicotinoid training will be integrated into the existing pesticide applicator licensing process
• The Dept. of Transportation will be directed to identify opportunities for the introduction of pollinator habitats on department property (ie., along highways).

See a fact sheet explaining the bill, here. Or see the full text of the bill, here.

The bill is currently sitting in the House Committee on Ways & Means, which could be its last stop before a full vote of the House. BUT unless legislators see this as a priority, it won't ever "get to the floor."

That's where you come in...

Take action within seconds

Use this form to send a quick email to your state legislators asking them to push for a vote on Rep. Dykema's Pollinator Protection Act ASAP. The more people they hear from, the more likely they are to support the bill!
If you haven't contacted them in a while, do it again.

Please use this form to take action, now!

Talking points are provided to help get you start

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Shelburne Falls, MA