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SPOKANE BANS USE OF NEONICOTINOIDS
Agri-Pulse reports:

Spokane, Washington, joined fellow Pacific Northwest cities Eugene, Oregon and Seattle in banning the use of insecticides containing neonicotinoids on city property in an effort to ease pressure on declining pollinator populations.

"This ordinance simply says Spokane prioritizes the protection of our food supply over the ornamental use of pesticides," City Council President Ben Stuckart said in a statement.

A press release from Stuckart's office indicated the neonicotinoids ordinance was timed to be released on the same day that President Obama announced a federal strategy for the protection of pollinator health.

As part of that strategy, the president tasked the EPA with assessing the effects of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on pollinator health. Obama also ordered executive departments and agencies to avoid the use of pesticides in sensitive pollinator habitats.

Stuckart's office says the ban is a response to a 2013 incident in Oregon - in which 50,000 bees died - that was blamed on pesticides containing neonicotinoids.

Though the Oregon Department of Agriculture does not forbid the use of the class of pesticides, the agency writes on its website that neonicotinoids "may pose a potential risk to bees and other insects that benefit us."


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