A Step Forward for Pollinator Protections

Pollinators in Massachusetts are now better protected from dangerous pesticides, thanks to new regulations passed this week. The state’s Pesticide Board Subcommittee has banned most pesticide products containing neonicotinoids from sale in retail stores, and restricted their use to only licensed pesticide applicators. 

Rusty patched bumble bee (photo credit: USFWS)

Neonicotinoid pesticides are harmful to pollinators like bees, butterflies, birds, and bats. When pollinator health declines, we also see ripple effects to our farms, food systems, and biodiversity. Mass Audubon and our partners have been urging increased regulations and transparency around the use of neonicotinoids – see our statement from Mass Audubon president David O’Neill on the impact of these new regulations. 

Special thanks to state Representative Carolyn Dykema, Attorney General Maura Healey, and our partners at the Massachusetts Pollinator Network for their consistent leadership on this issue, and to the many other legislators that put pressure on the state to move to action.  

Is your legislator on this list? If so, you can thank them for their advocacy using our one-step alert. Better yet, call their office to thank them – phone calls go a long way toward showing how valued their actions are! 

Massachusetts now joins Maryland, Connecticut, and Vermont as states leading on US neonicotinoid regulations. While there’s still more work to be done to reduce these pesticides’ remaining uses and educate consumers, this is an important step forward!