The California State Senate voted 35 to 1 on August 21, 2014 to delay a requirement for action on neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides until 2020. Bill 1789 states that honey bees are vital to the pollination of many of California’s crops, which are crucial to our national food system and essential to the economy of the state. It cites that annual colony losses from 2006 to 2011, inclusive, averaged about 33 percent each year, which is more than double what is considered sustainable, according to the United States Department of Food and Agriculture.
The bill states that its purpose is to set a timeline for completion of the reevaluation of neonicotinoid compounds to ensure that the Department of Pesticide Regulation completes a thorough, scientifically sound and timely analysis of the effects of neonicotinoids on pollinator health.
It includes the following provisions:
- Gives The California Department of Pesticide Regulations until July 1, 2018 to make a determination with respect to its reevaluation of neonicotinoids.
- Adds an additional two years after 2018 to implement any control measures necessary to protect pollinator health.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulations (CDPR) started its reevaluation of certain pesticide products containing four neonicotinoids: imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin and dinotefuran in 2009. According to the CDPR website, the reevaluation required studies after application of an active ingredient to determine residue levels in pollen, nectar and leaves of certain bee attractive orchard and row crops in three different soil types.
With the newly passed legislation, the department timeline closely follows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s timeline for neonic review, which it is required to complete by 2019.