Ban Toxic Pesticides

California legislature acting to save bees and birds and all of us

staff | TPIN

The California legislature just took action to save bees and birds by tackling seeds covered in pesticides. The key policy committee approved the bill (AB1042)  with a 7:2 vote. I got to serve as a lead witness and here is my testimony:

Thank you Chair Lee, committee members.

I’m Laura Deehan, State Director with Environment California, and we are excited to work with Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan to co-sponsor AB 1042 along with the American Bird Conservancy.

This bill is necessary to protect birds, bees and all those that rely on a healthy environment.

We are in the middle of what many are calling an insect apocalypse; a stunning drop in biodiversity threatening the web of life that we all rely on.

A recent study found that America’s agricultural landscape is 48 times more toxic today than 25 years ago.

Oddly, when is a pesticide not considered a pesticide? When it’s coated onto seeds that are planted. For decades, companies have been treating seeds with toxic pesticides.

With this loophole in the law, the use of pesticides on seeds is not overseen by the state’s own Dept of Pesticide Regulation, and experts estimate that untracked sources are a  significant source, including chemicals never approved in California, getting into the environment today.

When pesticides are applied on seeds they grow into every part of the plant, and slough off as dust in the environment, dissolve into the ground where they contaminate the soil and water- including streams, and ponds. Bees bring pesticides to the hive where it is linked to colony collapse disorder. Migrating songbirds eat pesticide treated seeds and it suppresses their appetite and ability to reproduce. And these same chemicals threaten human health.

This important bill closes this peculiar loophole and confirms that seeds treated with pesticides should be tracked, monitored and action should taken by our Dept of Pesticide Regulation to protect health and the environment. I respectfully ask for an aye vote.


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