Pollinators: under attack by lobbyists and legislators alike

Just a year ago the loss of pollinators was big news. The legislature responded with a bucket full of different strategies ml2013-14_pollinatorleg-final-3.pdf designed to begin the process of reversing the trend. One of the strategies that received more attention than the others was consumer friendly legislation that allowed nurseries to advertise plants as bee friendly if the plants were not treated with insecticides lethal to bees. Minnesota consumers now have a choice to select plants that are pollinator or bee friendly.

But now, the new House Agriculture Policy Committee has adopted language that will mislead consumers into thinking that their plant purchases are pollinator friendly even when systemic pesticides have been added.

Unfortunately, that is not all the bad news.  In the Senate Jobs, Agriculture and Economic Development Committee Senator Dahms moved to delete key language that was adopted in 2014, the definition of “pollinator lethal insecticide.”  (MnStat 18.H02 Subd. 28a )The deletion was adopted without audible dissent. The action was done by an amendment that was not posted in advance and not written so the Minnesota public had no idea about what was to take place.   Senator Dahms said the language was vague. To the contrary, the language is clear. Sen Dahms also made reference to the possible use  by the committees that spend Legacy dollars or lottery trust fund dollars, something he clearly did not want to happen.

There is still more bad news for pollinators. The effort to require the use of pollinator friendly seeds and plants on lands purchased with Legacy dollars was stricken by Rep Denny McNamara.

The good news is Governor Dayton. He signed all of the current legislation. Let him know that the moves to backtrack on polinators are unacceptable.