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Pesticide Action Network

MDA clarifies scope of neonic review, considers restricting bee-harming pesticides

For immediate release: October 27, 2014

Contact: Lex Horan, 651.245.1733,

This morning, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) released a revised Scoping Document for its review of neonicotinoid insecticides. This revised document incorporates changes and additions based on more than 400 public comments – including beekeepers, farmers and PAN – received last spring on the first draft of the agency’s Scoping Document. The vast majority of commenters indicated high levels of concern over bee declines and encouraged MDA to broaden the scope of its review to consider restricting or canceling the use of neonicotinoids in Minnesota.

Lex Horan, organizer with Pesticide Action Network, issued the following statement in response to MDA’s revised document:

“Because of public pressure from Minnesotans across the state, as well a common-sense call to action from a group of 17 legislators, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has made some important improvements to its Scoping Document. Some major oversights have been corrected. For example, MDA pledged to consider low-dose and synergistic effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees, and offered a more detailed plan on estimating neonicotinoid seed treatment usage in the state of Minnesota.

Most importantly, MDA promised to consider restricting or cancelling neonicotinoids. This policy option is backed by a large body of scientific evidence, including a recent report from EPA finding that that neonicotinoid seed treatments don’t increase yield or farmer profits when used in soybeans.

MDA has made important edits to broaden the scope of its review to include all potential policy responses to the role that neonicotinoid pesticides play in bee declines. Now, it’s MDA’s responsibility to swiftly complete its review and take meaningful action to restrict neonicotinoids and increase transparency about pesticide use in the state of Minnesota."

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Pesticide Action Network

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