Targets: Home Depot and Lowe’s
Goal: Prevent the sale of bee-killing pesticides at America’s top two home and garden supply stores.
Across the United States, bee populations are dying off, threatening dozens of food crops that rely on bees to pollinate them. Though many factors have contributed to the decline, a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids have been linked by researchers to bee deaths. In addition to killing bees and other pollinators directly, research suggests neonicotinoids make bees more susceptible to parasites. U.S. bee populations have declined by 800,000 colonies since 2006, and the use of neonicotinoids in agriculture and home gardens is threatening to make the collapse worse.
Recognizing the threat these pesticides pose to bee populations, the European Union’s Food Safety Authority recently banned neonicotinoids for the next two years. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has so far failed to take similar steps, meaning bees and the crops that depend on them are still at risk. If the EPA won’t act to protect bees, companies that sell neonicotinoids must take action by themselves.
Home Depot and Lowe’s, the two biggest home-and-garden supply stores in the U.S., both sell neonicotinoids for use in home gardens. Both these companies claim to support sustainability, but selling pesticides that endanger bees isn’t consistent with their goals for responsible business. Rather than wait for the EPA to ban neonicotinoids, Home Depot and Lowe’s should remove these products from their shelves themselves.
If these two suppliers act to save bees, it will send a message to other store chains that the home and garden industry won’t be able to ignore. Sign the petition below to urge Lowe’s and Home Depot to stop selling neonicotinoids now.
Dear Home Depot and Lowe’s,
Agriculture as we know it depends on healthy populations of bees and other pollinators. The recent collapse of US bee populations threatens dozens of crops we rely on for food, including almonds, apples, citrus fruits, and soybeans, as well as many of the garden plants you sell at your stores. Yet pesticides like neonicotinoids threaten to make current bee declines even worse. We urge you to stand up for healthy bee populations, by immediately removing neonicotinoid products from your shelves.
Though many factors have contributed to recent bee declines, neonicotinoids play a major role in bee deaths. The European Food Safety Authority has already banned neonicotinoids, but due to pesticide industry pressure, the U.S. has not yet taken this step. As companies that have made many public statements about your support for sustainability, you don’t have to wait for U.S. regulators to act. You can take the initiative by ending the sale of neonicotinoids today.
If companies of your size stop selling neonicotinoids, it will have a real effect on bee populations. Your actions can also prompt other companies to follow suit, further reducing bees’ exposure to harmful pesticides. We, the undersigned, urge you to act right away by taking neonicotinoids off your shelves, so we can all continue to enjoy bees and the many food plants they pollinate.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Treesha Duncan via Flickr