Garden-Care Company Ortho Phasing Out Chemicals Linked To Declining Bee Population

Image courtesy of Karen Chappell

Ortho, a major player in the garden-care industry and subsidiary of Scotts Miracle-Gro, has tongues buzzing over the news that it will start to “transition away” from using chemicals in its pesticides that are believed to be harmful to honey bees.

The Ohio company says it will eventually stop using neonicotinoid-based pest control products for outdoor use, reports USA Today.

Ortho says it’s also teaming up with Pollinator Stewardship Council, an advocacy group that supports beekeepers, to work on a customer education and lobby for the use of label language that clarifies the purchase of non-neonic pesticides.

“This decision comes after careful consideration regarding the range of possible threats to honey bees and other pollinators,” said Tim Martin, general manager of the Ortho brand. “While agencies in the United States are still evaluating the overall impact of neonics on pollinator populations, it’s time for Ortho to move on.”

“We encourage other companies and brands in the consumer pest control category to follow our lead,” he said.

The moves comes after BJ’s Wholesale Club and Home Depot stopped sale on the pesticides in 2014, with Lowe’s following with a promise in 2015 to stop selling those products to consumers. Ace and TruValue Hardware are now considering taking similar action. Maryland recently passed a bill that if approved, would ban the sale of neonic pesticides for most customers in the state.

Ortho to stop using chemicals considered to be harmful to bees [USA Today]

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