As reported recently in the Capital Press (Salem, Ore.), a proposal to reclassify neonicotinoids as “restricted use pesticides” has been removed from a bill currently before the Oregon Legislature. The classification would have meant that only licensed applicators could use the class of chemicals. Instead, the bill calls for creation of a Pollinator Health Task Force to address the issue.
The misuse of pesticides containing neonicotinoids last summer was blamed for a series of bee deaths in Wilsonville, Hillsboro and elsewhere. The compromise version of the bill has the support and participation of both the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, and the Oregon Association of Nurseries. “My goal all along has been to get a conversation started about how we’re going to address this,” bill sponsor Rep. Jeff Reardon (D-Happy Valley) told the newspaper.
The amended bill, House Bill 4139, was approved on a 54-4 vote in the House, with two excused. It was then referred to the Oregon Senate.