Pesticide Company Ortho To Phase Out Chemicals Linked To Bee Loss

By Andrew Bernier
Published: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 1:43pm
Updated: Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 3:01pm
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(Photo by Andrew Bernier - KJZZ)
Nearly a third of a human's diet is from insect-pollinated plants. 80% of that pollination is conducted by honeybees.

Bee populations have taken a hit over the last decade and researchers have identified several culprits, one of which is a specific chemical widely used in lawn and garden care products. Now, a leading pesticide company has announced it’s dropping the chemical.

Pesticide giant Ortho said it will phase out chemicals called neonicotinoids, or neonics, in rose, flowers, tree and shrub products by 2017 and all products by 2021. Neonics have long been associated with declining bee health and is believed to be partly responsible for colony collapse disorder because they are designed to attack an insect’s central nervous system.

MORE: ASU Researchers: Bees Stressed As Babies Fair Better As Adults

Ortho has said it doesn’t expect prices of newly formed products to rise significantly, although more applications may be necessary. Today’s decision comes on the heels of recent bee population research and the announcement by U.S. Fish and Wildlife that it is considering placing two bumblebee species on the Endangered Species List.

RELATED: USFWS Considers Listing Or Delisting Petitions Of 8 Arizona Species

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