Letter: Use of ‘neonic’ pesticides is a serious threat to food, health

Letter: Use of ‘neonic’ pesticides is a serious threat to food, health

Record-Journal
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The “endorsement” of neonicotinoid or “neonic” pesticides in Rhode Island is a coming catastrophe for our pollinator populations. Neonics were banned in Europe in 2013 after a six month study by the European Food Safety Agency concluded that “neonicotinoid insecticides posed an unacceptable risk to the pollinator populations in Europe.”

This class of insecticide is a powerful neurotoxin derived from the tobacco plant. Only minute amounts are necessary to kill a bee and lesser amounts render the bee disoriented and unable to return to the hive. Also, as other insecticides break down chemically a brief time after dispersal, neonicotinoids remain molecularly intact, washing into streams, ponds, and wells. So you and your kids can have some, too.

The idea that the state’s beekeepers “have no position” on such chemicals says to me that they are either callous, lazy (seriously uninformed) or bought off. Who else got paid to sell Rhode Island down the river to possible food shortages due to no produce growing?

The Governor runs the state and holds ultimate responsibility for this action. An “endorsement” of a highly toxic, long-lasting, extremely damaging chemical agent into our food and water supply is a blatant statement that the health and well-being of Rhode Islanders is bought and paid for and that Gov. Raimondo is the seller.

Steve Kern Westerly


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