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Minnesota legislature passes two bills for bees


Last Friday, the Minnesota legislature wrapped up its 2014 bonding session with the passage of two important pieces of legislation to protect bees from pesticides.

A truth-in-advertising bill introduces the language of “pollinator lethal insecticide” into Minnesota statutes. It bars nurseries from labeling plants pretreated with these pesticides from being labeled as “bee-friendly.”

Minnesota legislators to state regulators: consider restricting neonicotinoids


Last week, 17 Minnesota legislators submitted comments encouraging the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) to consider restricting or de-registering neonicotinoids, the most widely used class of insecticides in the world and a key contributor to declining bee populations. These comments came on the last day of an open comment period on MDA's review of neonicotinoids, which began in November 2013.

Vermont passes first “no strings” law to label GMOs


Earlier today, the Vermont legislature passed a bill to ensure genetically engineered (GE) food, or food containing GE ingredients, is clearly labeled.  Connecticut and Maine have passed related laws, but both contain trigger clauses and have not yet gone into effect. When Governor Shumlin signs the Vermont bill into law, which he is expected to do, Vermont will be the first state to mandate GE labeling.