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Walmart and True Value to phase out bee-killing pesticides

The news follows a report on Digital Journal in January 2017 that retail corporation Costco has requested that its suppliers end the use of bee-killing pesticides on garden plants sold in its stores. This, as with the latest news from Walmart and True Value, is part of a Friends of the Earth initiative. The new announcement is that True Value and Walmart will shortly to stop selling plants treated with neonicotinoids. In addition the companies will remove products containing them from store shelves.

Neonicotinoids are a controversial pesticide, used to kill aphids with the aim of protecting crops. The problem is they also – probably – harm bees. The problem with their use is that evidence has been growing, since the mid-2000s, about neonics posing a risk to bees.

With the new announcements in the realm of U.S. retail, True Value has declared it will phase out products that contain neonicotinoid pesticides by the spring of 2018 and that the company is working with its growing partners to remove neonicotinoids from its plants. Walmart has already made progress, confirming that its growers have eliminated neonics from approximately 80 percent of its garden plants.

Commenting on the news, Finck-Haynes, Food Futures Campaigner at Friends of the Earth U.S. stated: “This is a great day for bees and sends an important message that the market is listening to consumers and sound science in refusing to sell bee-killing pesticides.”

The environmental group added, however, that it is continuing to lobby major retailer Ace Hardware to follow suit.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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