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First-in-the-Nation Law Passed to Restrict Dangerous Neonicotinoid Pesticides


March 13, 2024

Twenty-three GCA member clubs work to ban neonics in New York State

Pollinators in New York State can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Thanks to the efforts of twenty-three Garden Club of America member clubs and hundreds of other environmental advocates, Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed into law the Birds and Bees Protection Act (S.1856-A/A.7640), a first-in-the nation law to dramatically restrict the use of dangerous neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics), chemicals typically applied to corn, soybean, and wheat seeds as well as on golf courses and lawns. 

GCA conservation leaders credit the success of the effort to communication — first sharing the message with club members, then urging them to call their state representatives to pass the bill, and finally going en masse to Albany to push Governor Hochul to sign it.

Neonics are some of the world’s most popular and potent insecticides and considered by some to be almost as dangerous as DDT, which has long since been banned in the US. Furthermore, despite fierce lobbying on the part of chemical companies, research has shown that neonics not only threaten as many as 200 endangered species and ecosystems with extinction, including bees and other pollinators critical to agriculture and home gardens, but, as neurotoxins, are a serious risk to public health and have, in fact, little or no value to corn, soybean, or wheat crops. This bill will eliminate 80-90% of the neonics entering New York’s environment yearly.
On March 17, 2024, 285 delegates from GCA clubs around the country will gather in Washington, DC to advocate for federal legislation to protect and conserve similarly threatened ecosystems and wildlife.



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