Statement: Assembly passes legislation to limit bee-killing neonics pesticide

Media Contacts

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Assembly passed legislation (AB 2146) by a 45:14 vote this afternoon to ban most non-agricultural uses of the neonicotinoid, commonly known as neonics, class of pesticides.

California is on track to join a growing number of states that have implemented similar limits on neonics, including recent actions from Maine, New Jersey and New York. The bill would ban neonics on lawns, gardens and golf courses, with exceptions made for combating invasive pests and other specified cases.

Neonics are systemic pesticides well-known to harm bees and other wildlife. At levels found in the environment, neonics affect bees’ ability to sustain their populations, forage for food and rid themselves from deadly mites. These pesticides also pollute waterways – samples from 58% of northern California and 92% of southern California urban waterways contained the neonic imidacloprid. Now the bill heads to the Senate. 

In response, Laura Deehan, director of Environment California, released the following statement:

“Neonics inflict deep damage on our ecosystems and bee populations that far outweighs the fleeting value they supposedly offer. A perfectly manicured lawn or rose garden isn’t worth the destruction of our bee populations. We need these little creatures to pollinate our environment and we rely on bees to maintain a healthy food system. 

“Passing this bill is so meaningful because it increases the odds that bees keep buzzing in California’s meadows and gardens. We thank the state Assembly and the bill’s author Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan as well as co-authors, Assemblymembers Ting, Kalra, Bennett, Stone, Lee and Robert Rivas for their leadership on this bill.”