Success: EPA Restricts Bee-Killing Pesticides


Target: Gina McCarthy, Administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Commend restrictions on harmful bee-killing pesticides.

After a long wait, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally agreed to restrict the manufacture and use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been linked to bee deaths. Restrictions from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have already been issued for these harmful pesticides—though the FWS has yet to enforce its new rules—Oregon state has banned their use on public lands, and in 2013 the European Union issued a temporary moratorium on the use of neonicotinoids until more research about the pesticides’ environmental effects could be conducted. A previous ForceChange petition called for the EPA to act against these harmful pesticides, and thanks to the efforts of conservationists and environmental groups the agency has finally heeded the call to protect our pollinators.

Dangerous pesticides are not the only culprit in the dramatic loss of the planet’s pollinators, but they are one of the easiest to stop. Habitat loss, disease and neonicotinoid pesticides have been cited as the three major bee killers by researchers, and a 2014 Harvard study claims that neonicotinoid use is the main factor responsible for the increasingly common instance of colony collapse disorder (CCD). According to the Agricultural Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, CCD is a mysterious syndrome in which a bee hive is found with no adult bees or bee bodies, but with immature bees, a live queen and honey still inside.

In the Harvard study, control hives were researched beside hives exposed to the pesticides. The hives exposed to the chemicals suffered from CCD, ostensibly due to a failure to winterize as a result of exposure, while all but one of the control hives survived the winter intact and returned healthy in the spring. The study helps to prove conclusively what many have suspected for some time, and is helping lead to more comprehensive restrictions against bee-killing chemicals.

Support the EPA’s stance against the unrestricted use of neonicotinoid pesticides.


Dear Ms. McCarthy,

Neonicotinoid pesticides have been proven to negatively affect honey bee hives by contributing to CCD. Not only is the use of such dangerous pesticides an egregious conservation violation, but the unchecked decline of the world’s pollinators threatens a $30 billion agricultural industry in the U.S.

Thanks to the EPA’s recently announced restrictions, conservationists and environmentalists may have cause to hope for revived, growing and increasingly healthy hives in the future. A number of letters from the EPA to registrants of such pesticides intended for outdoor use explain that most applications for neonicotinoids will not be renewed until the pesticide can be deemed safe for pollinators and the environment. The letters also warn of future restrictions on the expansion of similar pesticides.

I support and applaud the EPA’s decision to put the health of important pollinators first.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: dni777 via Flickr

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  1. caryl sawyer says:

    This is not a Thank You.

    First, McCarthy did nothing until there was a massive outpouring of complaints.

    Second, this does not take effect immediately.

    Third, it will still be legal to use for ” special needs.”

  2. Janice Meyer says:

    In the following days I will be listening very closely to see if this is truly going to be taken off the market or if this is just smoke and mirrors to make the public feel better. Don’t take us for stooges…you won’t like the repercussions.

  3. The EPA, USDA, and ‘Health’ Canada are all useless bureaucracies that have done almost NOTHING to protect anyone or anything, as far as I’m concerned, so they’re getting no “thanks” from me. If they REALLY cared, they would have banned this and COUNTLESS other chemicals, AND all of the dangerous crap pharmaceuticals, LONG ago. They’re “bought” agencies, nothing more and nothing less. That’s been clear for decades, for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear.

  4. Thank you for at last seeing sense and doing the right thing.

  5. I’m not signing this either because of researchers and scientists being threatened with job loss if they exposed to the public what was found out about the danger of some of these pesticides. I agree this cover up is ongoing from these agencies that are supposed to protect the food supply.
    Just like I told them at one time just how were they planning on hand pollinating thousands of acres of tomatoes or any crop that needed bees and bumble bees if they are all dead? Never got any answer back.

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