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Green Thumbs Up: Ortho to go neonics-free by 2021

Ortho is a subsidiary of Marysville, Ohio-based ScottsMiracle-Gro, and is a major manufacturer of home and garden pest control products.

Ortho says the decision to drop neonicotinoids, or neonics for short, from their products was made in response to growing pressure from environmentalists. But consideration was also given to the harmful effects of the chemical on honeybees and other types of pollinators, reports the Associated Press.

This decision comes after careful consideration regarding the range of possible threats to honeybees and other pollinators. While agencies in the U.S. are still evaluating the overall impact of neonics on pollinator populations, it’s time for Ortho to move on,” says Tim Martin, the general manager of the Ortho Brand, according to NPR.org.

Ortho will phase out neonics in its products by 2021, following in the footsteps of Lowe’s and Home Depot, who last year took the plunge, saying they would stop selling neonic-based products in their garden care centers. Ortho is going a step further, with plans to work with an advocacy group supporting beekeepers.

Along with the Pollinator Stewardship Council, Ortho will be developing an education program and lobby for the use of label language that clearly describes the purchase and use of non-neonic pesticides. “We encourage other companies and brands in the consumer pest control category to follow our lead,” added Martin.

This is not the first time Ortho has worked with the Pollinator Stewardship Council. They are taking seriously the company’s statement that Ortho carries an “environmentally-friendly line of control products.” To that end, while supporting pollinator habitats, Ortho will be using online channels and social media to “develop homeowner education related to the responsible use of pesticides where pollinators can be found.”

“Bees and butterflies are essential to our ecosystem and are increasingly facing a struggle to survive,” Michele Colopy, program director of the Pollinator Stewardship Council, said in a statement, according to USA Today. “We join Ortho in asking other consumer pest-control brands to also transition away from the use of neonics.”

Green Thumbs Up is a weekly feature focusing on the environment and how we can live more eco-friendly lives. Ortho has centainly earned our Green Thumbs Up this week, following in the footsteps of British Columbia’s creation of a new provincial park, known as the Ancient Forest park or Chun T’oh Wudujut, as it is called in the local Lheidli language.

Written By

Karen Graham is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for environmental news. Karen's view of what is happening in our world is colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in man's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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