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News: Ag Secy Perdue Responds to GCA Call for Neonics Ban

 

July 12, 2017

THE GARDEN CLUB OF AMERICA OPPOSES USE OF NEONICS;

WRITES TO AG SECRETARY AND EPA ADMINISTRATOR--

SONNY PERDUE RESPONDS

Faced with continuing threats to monarchs, bees, and other pollinators essential to food production, The Garden Club of America Executive Board on May 5, 2017, sent letters to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt protesting the sale of seeds and plants infused with neonicotinoids (neonics). On June 16, Secretary Perdue responded, thanking the GCA for its input and outlining the Agriculture Department's plans to ensure pollinator health.

The GCA letters called for the elimination of the neonics class of chemical pesticides, or at minimum, the labeling of all neonic-infused plants. The GCA noted the critical value of healthy habitats and healthy pollinators to the American economy.

The GCA’s Conservation, Horticulture, and National Affairs & Legislation committees also issued an organization-wide call to the GCA’s 200 clubs asking their members to avoid purchasing neonic-infused plants at home improvement stores and gardening centers and to urge retailers to mark treated plants so that consumers could make informed decisions.

These efforts are the latest in the GCA's ongoing campaign to protect pollinators. In 2014, the Conservation and Horticulture committees launched a Pollinator Challenge Project, through which members of GCA clubs supported pollinators through the planting of milkweed, the development of pollinator gardens, and public education and outreach. The GCA Conservation Committee chairman attended the 2014 White House Pollinator Initiative Stakeholder Meeting. Also that year, the same committees petitioned the U.S. Department of the Interior to designate the monarch butterfly an endangered species, eligible for special protections under the Endangered Species Act.

 

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