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California governor signs bill banning poisonous pesticides that harm native bees

In a notable move, the California government has decided to ban the over-the-counter sale of lawn and garden neonicotinoid pesticides by 2025.

California governor signs bill banning poisonous pesticides that harm native bees
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Thijs van der Weide

United Nations in its publication has shared how soil pollution impacts 40% of the global population. Soil pollution mainly happens due to agricultural activities, industrial waste and excessive use of chemicals like pesticides. Despite pesticides causing significant harm to the ecological balance of the environment by threatening various organisms, it has still been a difficult endeavor for governments to remove them. This is because they play a huge role in food production which is very high in terms of priorities. Getting them out of the equation will mean more investment, which authorities do not want to indulge in. California government though, with its recent decision to ban over-the-counter sales of lawn and garden neonicotinoid pesticides by 2025, reports by Good News Network.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Michael Hodgins
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Michael Hodgins

This was not an easy pursuit at all and required a lot of effort from state legislators. Ultimately, Governor Gavin Newsom agreed to the proposal and banned lawn and garden neonicotinoid pesticides which are known to hamper bees. As per the new law, pesticides will be banned by 2025 and will only be available for trained professionals in the agricultural field. The bill is termed by the title 'AB363' and has provisions limiting the sale of the pesticide class, also known as neonics.

The bill also instructs the Department of Pesticide Regulation to analyze the damage done by neonics and come forward with a plan to reverse those damages to the environment. Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, who has authored the bill, also asked for a timely review of the non-agricultural uses of neonic by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). Through this review, the government plans to develop an alternate solution so that no human operations have to cease.


Neonic is the world's most used insecticide. They are life-threatening to bees and insects who are a prominent part of the ecological cycle. Centre for Food Safety in their reports came to the conclusion that each "neonic" is likely to adversely affect from two-thirds to over three-fourths of America's endangered species. Moreover, they are very difficult to remove as they can persist in the soil for many years, enlarging their effect on generations of bees.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kat Smith
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Kat Smith

Prior to California, the EU and UK also levied similar bans. These bans limited farmers from using neonicotinoids unless they were placed inside a local greenhouse. Ontario was the first region in North America to completely ban the neonic pesticides. Other states took easier alternatives by restricting their use. Companies like Lowes, Costco, Walmart and Ortho also promised to phase them out slowly so that it does not harm important human activities.


California's move was widely appreciated inside and outside the state. “I’m thrilled Governor Newsom has signed AB 363 to eliminate harmful pesticides and protect our environment without limiting farmers,” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan. Lucas Rhoads, with the Pollinator Initiative at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), has a firm belief that the law will produce good outcomes. He says, “Public health and ecological well-being throughout California are better protected today because of this new law.”


DPR at present has completed one of its directives. It has evaluated the agricultural uses of neonic but is yet to present its findings when it comes to non-agricultural purposes. Through this law, the California government has taken a huge step towards protecting 1,600 native bee species in the state.

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