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house Bill H.R. 5015

Banning Insecticides That Harm Bees and Other Pollinators

Argument in favor

Suspending the use of these insecticides until the EPA can determine if they are killing bees is a wise move that could save a vital asset to our environment, and the country’s agriculture industry.

Jason's Opinion
···
03/24/2018
We need those bees to pollenate other plants.
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Mackenzie's Opinion
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03/24/2018
Even if this is a small step to saving a species that is responsible for pollination all over the world and for the majority of the foods we eat, it’s necessary. Saving the bees is extremely important and without them we’d be in trouble.
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Patrick's Opinion
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03/24/2018
Clearly not all legislation is good, and no one wants farmers to suffer or change methods and lose crops, but the bottom line is that companies make millions off of producing chemicals and make farmers rely on them, and with a business model where the bottom line is economics and selling as much product as possible for maximum profit, your health, our food, bees and pollinators are defenseless against massive corporations without politicians helping regulate industry. Whether you agree or not, we need something to make this a healthier planet and stop caring so much about companies and their profits. Corporations are the enemy here, not politicians or a bill idea to help solve the problem. Europe is a good model for this topic.
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Argument opposed

Bees are dying everywhere, not just in places where insecticides are used. Finding out the cause of the bee deaths makes sense, but hurting the agriculture industry in the process is foolish.

Jennifer 's Opinion
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03/24/2018
I guess I’ll listen to the guy who runs the largest beekeeper operation in the state of Washington. Tom Hiatt says this bill is an overreaching piece of legislation that could cause more harm than good. Politicians have to learn that sometimes small changes can have a big impact. A lesson, after seeing what’s in the Omnibus bill, is obvious they ALL are incapable of grasping. Please stop; your large sweeping pieces of legislation are killing us, figuratively speaking!
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William's Opinion
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03/24/2018
Honeybees are a non-native species to North America. We don’t need them as pollinators. Plants were pollinating long before we got here with European honeybees. Yes go read, history. That aside, we need to balance the good these pesticides do versus the harm to honeybees. I believe the bee keeper from Washington.
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JTJ's Opinion
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03/24/2018
I don’t trust the epa to study anything. The department needs to be abolished.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Agriculture
      Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research
    IntroducedFebruary 14th, 2018

What is House Bill H.R. 5015?

This bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the registration — i.e. halt the sale and distribution — of plant, tree, and soil insecticides that bees are attracted to. It would bar the use of these products until the EPA has determined that they will not cause unreasonable harm to "pollinators." Pollinators in this case are defined as native bees, honeybees, birds, bats, and other species of beneficial insects.

Determining the effects of these insecticides on pollinators would be based on:

  • An evaluation of the published and peer-reviewed scientific evidence on whether the use of these insecticides has adverse effects on pollinators.

  • A field study supervised by the EPA Administrator that evaluates residues, annual residual build-up, chronic low-dose exposure, and the cumulative effects of multiple chemical exposures.

This bill would prohibit the EPA Administrator from lifting the ban on the insecticides listed in this act until the study has come to solid conclusions. The insecticides in question are used for seed treatment, soil application, and foliar treatment on bee attractive plants, trees, and grains; imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotafuran, and any other members of the nitro group of neonicotinoid insecticides.

The Secretary of the Interior and EPA Administrator would be required to monitor the health and population status of native bees in annual public reports to Congress, and identify the scope and likely cause of unusual native bee mortality.

Impact

Bees and other pollinators under this act, people who use insecticides covered in this legislation, the EPA, the Department of the Interior, and the EPA Administrator.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5015

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced this bill to ban insecticides that threaten bees and other pollinators until the Environmental Protection Agency ensures they don’t harm pollinators:

“The health of our food system depends on the health of our pollinators. The status quo is like flying blind — we shouldn’t be using these pesticides when we don’t know their full impact. The EPA has a responsibility to get to the bottom of the issue and protect pollinators.”

Tim Hiatt, co-owner of Hiatt Honey Co. which is one of the largest beekeepers in Washington state, said that this bill goes too far relative to honeybees, but acknowledged a ban could help native pollinators:

“Neonics are insecticides, and bees are insects, so sloppy or careless application kills bees. But the majority of applicators use caution and don’t cause major acute kills. More judicious use of neonics would help beekeepers combat sub-lethal effects, which shorten the life of bees and colonies. But an outright federal ban is an overreaction as it relates to honeybees. States should assess the impacts to honeybees in their states and take appropriate action.”

This legislation has the support of 43 cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Democrats.


Of Note: High rates of bee mortality have created a worrying trend within the U.S. economy. Honey bees help pollinate nearly $15 billion worth of agricultural crops, and pollinators in general pollinate over $24 billion. The loss of bees has forced farmers to turn to pollination services — basically rental bees — which can raise costs by as much as 20%.

The causes of bee deaths have been attributed to several factors, including diseases and viruses. Additionally, the mysterious colony collapse disorder has befuddled researchers as to its cause. Colony collapse symptoms involve bees abandoning their hive and not warding off pests that invade the hive. This leads to the death of the next generation of the hive’s bees, exacerbating the problem.

Researchers have indicated that it will be very difficult to identify if insecticides are negatively impacting bees, as there are other chemicals found in beehives unrelated to insecticides that could also be damaging to their health. Fewer bees died in the winter of 2013 than in the prior year, with only 23.2% of honey bee colonies dying off compared to 30.5%. This could indicate that the problem could be too complex for us to solve.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: a8096b40_190 / iStock)

AKA

Saving America's Pollinators Act of 2018

Official Title

To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to take certain actions related to pesticides that may affect pollinators, and for other purposes.

    We need those bees to pollenate other plants.
    Like (137)
    Follow
    Share
    I guess I’ll listen to the guy who runs the largest beekeeper operation in the state of Washington. Tom Hiatt says this bill is an overreaching piece of legislation that could cause more harm than good. Politicians have to learn that sometimes small changes can have a big impact. A lesson, after seeing what’s in the Omnibus bill, is obvious they ALL are incapable of grasping. Please stop; your large sweeping pieces of legislation are killing us, figuratively speaking!
    Like (47)
    Follow
    Share
    Even if this is a small step to saving a species that is responsible for pollination all over the world and for the majority of the foods we eat, it’s necessary. Saving the bees is extremely important and without them we’d be in trouble.
    Like (73)
    Follow
    Share
    Clearly not all legislation is good, and no one wants farmers to suffer or change methods and lose crops, but the bottom line is that companies make millions off of producing chemicals and make farmers rely on them, and with a business model where the bottom line is economics and selling as much product as possible for maximum profit, your health, our food, bees and pollinators are defenseless against massive corporations without politicians helping regulate industry. Whether you agree or not, we need something to make this a healthier planet and stop caring so much about companies and their profits. Corporations are the enemy here, not politicians or a bill idea to help solve the problem. Europe is a good model for this topic.
    Like (46)
    Follow
    Share
    Why Debate this at all? Probably because Corrupted Conservatives are in the Pocket of Big Industry so they Make Believe the issue is Fake News...Wake up Folks!!!
    Like (32)
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    Save our bees. Save the planet.
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    All pesticides should be checked for the individual chemical content and its effects on all humans as well as the insects needed to help sustain food and life giving and sustaining sources
    Like (22)
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    Protect our bees.
    Like (19)
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    I’m in support of HR 5015 (Saving America's Pollinators Act of 2018.) Which would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the registration — i.e. halt the sale and distribution — of plant, tree, and soil insecticides that bees are attracted to. It would also bar the use of these products until the EPA has determined that they will not cause unreasonable harm to "pollinators." Pollinators in this case are defined as native bees 🐝,honeybees 🐝, birds🐧, bats🦇, and other species of beneficial insects. Suspending the use of these insecticides until the EPA can determine if they are killing bees and other Pollinators is a wise move that could save a vital asset to our environment, and the country’s agriculture industry. 3*24*18.
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    Honeybees are a non-native species to North America. We don’t need them as pollinators. Plants were pollinating long before we got here with European honeybees. Yes go read, history. That aside, we need to balance the good these pesticides do versus the harm to honeybees. I believe the bee keeper from Washington.
    Like (13)
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    Without bees, we’re screwed, so best to be overly cautious about these pesticides and the effect they’ll have on bees.
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    This is particularly crucial since the head of the EPA is one of Trump's Fox in the Henhouse picks who seems determined to get rid of Scientists and scientific research and pack the ranks with industry flacks.
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    Once the bees are gone, we are not far behind.
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    YES!!! If you won’t do this for the environment and health then at least do this for the farmers. All their benefits from the inheritance tax revoking will be for naught if their farm becomes unproductive
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    Yes please. Our food crops are more important than Monsanto profits
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    More research on insecticides definitely needs to be done before we can allow more bees to come into contact with them. Bees are vital to our agriculture and the their losses are going to make food production more difficult and expensive.
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    Pollination is necessary to maintaining our food supply.
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    I don’t trust the epa to study anything. The department needs to be abolished.
    Like (7)
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    The evidentiary case linking specific pesticides to bee deaths is very weak. And if some pesticides get banned, in many cases farmers will have no better option than to go back to older pesticides with harsher toxicity profiles (and better evidence there of).
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    Bees are a vital factor in the production of far more than simply honey, and their population has been dwindling at an alarming rate. If we do not move to support their population it will have a significant effect on our crops' pricing and availability, and we will all find ourselves literally paying the price for our lack of action.
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