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article imageLowe's to halt sale on neonics - Only sell plants free of neonics

By Karen Graham     Apr 10, 2015 in Environment
Home improvement chain Lowe's Cos. Inc. is joining with a number of other retailers in saying "so long" to a class of pesticides that may be responsible for the dwindling numbers of honeybees across the world.
The home improvement chain said on Wednesday they would be phasing out a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids or neonics. The pesticides will be completely gone from store shelves by early 2019. In addition, Lowe's will be working with plant suppliers to phase out the use of neonics in plants the retailer sells by the same date.
The announcement came with the release of Lowe's 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, providing a more detailed and enhanced review of the company's sustainability objectives for the future. The report outlined the company's shared approach to meeting the needs of its customers, employees, communities and the environment.
Neonicotinoids or neonics are a class of pesticides sold by agrochemical companies to increase the yield of staple crops, but they can also be used on annuals and perennials in lawns and gardens. Critics of the pesticides say they are responsible for the massive die-offs being seen in honeybees worldwide. Honeybee die-offs are also of great concern to the agricultural community because about 25 percent of food crops depend on pollination by the honeybees.
A study done in 2014 by the environmental group Friends of the Earth and the Pesticide Research Institute showed that 51 percent of the garden plants sold at Lowe's, Home Depot, and Walmart in 18 cities in the U.S. and Canada had neonicotinoid levels high enough to harm or kill honeybees.
A representative for major neonics producer Bayer CropScience said in a statement, neononics "can be used safely if they're used according to the label." But NBC News is reporting the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a moratorium on the use of neonicotinoids and will stop issuing permits for users of the pesticides "until the data on pollinator health have been received and appropriate risk assessments completed."\
For a list of a list of common home and garden products containing neonicotinoids, go HERE.
More about lowe's, Home depot, neoninssfree plants, Pesticides, harmful to honeybees
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