Pesticide Restrictions May Be Enacted in Maryland

Date: April 19, 2016 Last Edit: April 21, 2016

NFIB-opposed measure would take control away from businesses.

Pesticide Restrictions May Be Enacted in Maryland

The
Pollinator Protection Act is headed to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk, and if he signs
it into law, Maryland will become the first state to ban pesticides containing
neonicotinoids.

Under
the bill, starting Jan. 1, 2018, consumers would be prohibited from buying this
type of pesticide. Farmers, veterinarians and state-certified pesticide
applicators would still be allowed to use it.

Environmentalists
and other advocates of the bill say neonicotinoids are contributing to bees
dying off; opponents—including the Maryland Farm Bureau, the Maryland
Department of Agriculture and NFIB—have argued that the bill is unwarranted and
that there are a variety of factors contributing to bees’ decline. The
Agriculture Department has also countered that there are no documented
instances in Maryland of honeybees being harmed by the pesticides, reported the
Bay Journal. Plus, the retail ban would be costly to enforce, and the
Agriculture Department argues that pesticide regulation should be left to the EPA.

Furthermore,
the bill would unnecessarily burden small businesses. Affected businesses
include nursery operators and greenhouse owners, who lose the ability to use
and sell pesticides containing neonicotinoids, some of the most widely used
pesticides worldwide, unless they get specially licensed by the state.

Gov.
Hogan has not made any public statements about whether he will sign or veto the
bill.

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