The bill prohibits selling neonicotinoids and use of seeds coated with the pesticides. It also requires the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation to review the latest science concerning active ingredients in them. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finds neonicotinoids can jeopardize more than 200 plant and animal species protected by the Endangered Species Act.
Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal, D-Manhattan, the bill’s Senate sponsor, described effects the pesticides can have.
“In addition to driving down the population of critical pollinators like bees as we celebrate International Honey Bee Day, neonicotinoids are linked to a host of health problems in humans, including neurological damage, and birth defects,” Hoylman-Sigal pointed out.
In humans, neonicotinoids are linked to altered insulin regulation, and lower testosterone levels.
The Legislature approved the bill last year, though Gov. Hochul vetoed it, citing the Department of Environmental Conservation’s current regulatory role and its stringent pesticide program.
The Environmental Protection Agency made interim decisions on the chemicals, such as restricting when pesticides can be applied to blooming crops to limit exposure to bees.
Corinne Hansch, owner of Lovin’ Mama Farms, said the pesticides are not as beneficial as pollinators are.
“Corn and wheat grown from neonic coated seeds cause near instant death to any insect who touches these plants, and we are seeing dangerous levels of insect die off,” Hansch emphasized. “Farmers like me, we rely upon insects, i.e. pollinators, for our fruiting crops and our seed crops, plus we rely upon beneficial insects for pest control.”
Connecticut’s General Assembly considered a similar bill this year, but it wasn’t approved.
Edwin is a reporter and producer in North Tonawanda, New York. He’s previously reported for the Niagara Gazette and the Ithaca Times. Edwin got an early start in radio interning for WBFO-88.7FM, NPR’s Buffalo affiliate. In 2018, he graduated from SUNY Buffalo State College with a B.A. in Journalism, and in 2022, graduated from Syracuse University with an M.S. in Communications.