CEI fellow says honeybees thrive amid neonicotinoid insecticide use

Crop Protection News discusses with Angela Logomasini the impact of the EPA's efforts to regulate a pesticide accused of harming bee populations. 

A senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) recently told Crop Protection News that a lawsuit filed against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in an effort to heavily regulate — or even ban — the use of neonicotinoids could prove detrimental to all involved.

“Banning neonicotinoids threatens agricultural productivity, resulting in higher food prices,” Angela Logomasini, a senior fellow in Environmental Risk, Regulation and Consumer Freedom at the CEI, told Crop Protection News. “In addition, bans are likely to harm honeybees and other pollinators as farmers may switch to more toxic chemicals to protect crops. In fact, farmers indicated in interviews with researchers from AgInfomatics that they would need to vastly increase pesticide use and use more toxic products if they lose access to neonics.”

Logomasini explained that citrus growers’ very survival depends on having effective treatments such as neonicotinoids “to address the Asian Citrus Psylid, which feeds on fruit trees and transmits a bacterial disease called Huanglongbing (HLB). If allowed to get out of control, HLB will undermine fruit productivity and eventually destroy citrus trees within a few years.”

Logomasini said that in Europe, where neonicotinoids were banned in the 2014 planting season, farmers have experienced serious crop damage and increased use of other chemicals that are likely more dangerous for bees.

Read the full article at Crop Protection News.