MASSPIRG applauds new new regulations to protect pollinators

Media Contacts


BOSTON —  After finding overwhelming evidence that neonicotinoid “neonics” insecticides are harming pollinators, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Pesticide sub-committee passed a regulation Monday to restrict the use of this dangerous class of pesticide.

The new regulations will reduce the use of neonics by removing pesticide products containing neonics from retail stores and by prohibiting the unlicensed use of the pesticide for lawn care or on turf, trees, shrubs and gardens.  

In Massachusetts and around the country, the declining health of pollinators, such as honeybee and wild bees, is a cause for great concern. In April, 2018, Massachusetts beekeepers reported a 64.9 percent annual loss in colony numbers compared to the year before.

Support for protecting pollinators and significantly restricting the use of neonics is widespread.  Rep. Carolyn Dykema spearheaded efforts in the legislature, building support to pass a key amendment directing MDAR to conduct a study on neonics impacts on pollinators. Dykema also  gathered bipartisan support for passage of An Act to protect Massachusetts pollinators. Attorney General Maura Healey and a coalition of beekeepers, public health, farming and agriculture and environmental organizations continue to campaign vigorously to restrict the use of neonics. 

See coalition release here.

In response, MASSPIRG Legislative Director Deirdre Cummings issued the following statement:

“This is good news and an important step forward toward our ultimate goal of significantly curtailing the use of neonics and protecting our bees and other pollinators from these dangerous pesticides. Without bees, we wouldn’t have cranberries, apples, broccoli, coffee beans or even chocolate. We need to protect our bees and our public health as almost all the food we eat has been pollinated by these incredible little insects.”