ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS APPEAL FOR IMMEDIATE PAYMENT OF THE SAVE the BEES BILL
TRENTON – Environmental organizations are urging Assembly legislative leaders to move forward with passage of A2070/S1016, a bill which eliminates unnecessary uses of neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics). The bill was approved last week by the Assembly Science, Innovation and Technology Committee, and environmental groups are asking Speaker Coughlin to post the “Save the Bees” Act without further delay.
Neonics are neurotoxic insecticides that kill bees and other wildlife. They also heavily contaminate New Jersey’s water supply and lands and can be harmful to residents’ health. A ReportThe Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), shows that neonic polluting in New Jersey is widespread. They found neonics in more than half of the 250 water samples taken at 123 locations across the state. Most of these levels exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s chronic benchmark levels for harms to aquatic eco-systems.
An increasing body of science supports the conclusion that neonic use is a major cause of pollinator loss and links neonics with it. Bird numbers are decliningThe Collapse of fisheries, Birth defects in white-tailed Deer, and a Many health hazardsIn other mammals, including humans.
These pesticides pose a serious threat to the species New Jersey farmers rely on for their crops, and which we all rely on for our food. Pesticide companies cannot be allowed to continue to profit from the health and well-being our essential pollinators as well as the health of our residents. Ed Potosnak is the Executive Director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.We thank Senator Smith and Assemblyman Kalabrese for their leadership. Speaker Coughlin should quickly post the Save the Bees Act to allow us to cast our final vote in order to save the honeybees.
“We are excited to see this bill that prevents the most dangerous uses of neonicotinoid pesticides in New Jersey pass out of committee and look forward to the full Assembly voting on it soon,” said Drew Tompkins, Director for Policy for NJ Audubon “Neonics have played a major part in our decreasing bee populations, are shown to negatively impact other animals such as birds, and emerging research has identified unsettling impacts to human health, which is why moving this bill forward is so important for our state.”
New Jersey’s beekeepers are losing 40% to 50% of their colonies every year over the past decade. Honeybees make up a $7 million industry in New Jersey. They, along with wild and other bees, help pollinate more than $200 million worth fruits and vegetables each year. These include some of the state’s most valuable food crops: blueberries, cherries (peaches), pumpkins, squash, cucumbers and tomatoes.
It’s been over a whole year since the Senate voted in favor of the Save the Bees Bill S1016. This bill was sponsored by Senator Bob Smith and Senator Kip Bateman. This legislation will address the most widespread sources of neonic pollution in the state and help protect our clean drinking water as well as our ecosystems for our grandchildren. Learn more about this legislation and why it is necessary here.
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