The National Pollinator Defense Fund applauds the actions of the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture in their review of pesticides after bumble bees were killed from the use of Safari. This loss of native pollinators is not an isolated case; it was just a very public and highly visible incident. Thousands of dead bumble bees in a parking lot brought attention to the misuse of pesticides that happens throughout the U.S. in backyards, parks, farms, and cities. The loss of pollinators, managed and native, due to a misuse of pesticides is constant in farms and fields: the remains of the bees however, are not as physically visible across 400 acres, as they are in a paved parking lot.
The Oregon Dept. of Agriculture was correct in reviewing the use of this pesticide. If the product can be used safely, sparingly, and according to the label then it can be utilized per its purpose: protection from damaging pests. The key in the evaluation of this pesticide is “using the product per the label.” Sadly, a misuse of pesticides is caused by users not reading the label, as well as the label not clarifying the risks of the pesticide, especially if mixed with fungicides or herbicides. In this case the label clearly stated, “This product is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment or residues on blooming crops or weeds. Do not apply this product or allow it to drift to blooming crops or weeds if bees are visiting the treatment area.”
The National Pollinator Defense Fund supports the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture’s review of eighteen pesticides with the active ingredient dinotefuran in order to determine safe guidelines for use, that the product is used sparingly, is not applied to blooming plants, and is the last alternative to control a plant damaging pest.
The National Pollinator Defense Fund’s (NPDF) mission is to defend managed and native pollinators vital to a sustainable and affordable food supply from the adverse impacts of pesticides. For more information about the NPDF visit www.pollinatordefense.org.