Seed World

Horticulture Groups Question Lowe’s Decision on Neonics

Home improvement chain Lowe’s has announced it plans to phase out the sale of products containing neonicotinoid pesticides in response to what it says are environmental concerns, but four of the nation’s horticulture organizations were quick to respond.
AmericanHort, the Society of American Florists, the Horticultural Research Institute and the American Floral Endowment are questioning the decision in a joint statement.
“Consumers want plants that are healthy, beautiful and pest-free, and neonicotinoids have proven to be among the most effective pest management tools available. Neonicotinoids also are among the safest products we have for both our employees and the environment,” the joint statement says.
“Lowe’s position is surprising, considering the most recent and positive reports on the state of honeybee health (NASS honey report) and recent peer reviewed research. This is an issue for which sound science must take priority.”
During an announcement about the release of its 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, Lowe’s said it is phasing out the sale of products that contain neonicotinoid pesticides within 48 months as suitable alternatives become commercially available.
“Following studies that say many factors, including neonicotinoid pesticides, could potentially damage the health of pollinators, Lowe’s has committed to take several steps to support pollinator health,” the company says in a statement. “Lowe’s will include greater organic and non-neonic product selections, work with growers to eliminate the use of neonic pesticides on bee-attractive plants it sells and educate customers and employees through in-store and online resources.”