LANSING, Mich., May 26, 2021 — State Reps. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) and Samantha Steckloff (D-Farmington Hills) introduced House Bills 4895 and 4896, respectively, to protect Michigan’s food supply and economy by supporting the wellbeing of Michigan’s essential pollinating insects.
HB 4895 would prohibit the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on public land and require the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to produce a report on the costs and benefits of the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Chemically related to nicotine, neonicotinoids are a new class of insecticides that are toxic and often fatal to bees, monarch butterflies, and other beneficial insects and pollinators. In 2018, the European Union banned three main neonicotinoids for all outdoor uses.
“By protecting our state’s pollinating insects, we are protecting Michigan’s food supply and economy,” Kuppa said. “Phasing out the use of pesticides that are known to be harmful to essential pollinators and collecting more data on their usage will allow us to be better able to make decisions that promote the health and wellbeing of our state.”
HB 4896 would exempt milkweed plants from the definition of noxious plants for the purpose of controlling and eradicating such weeds. Milkweed plants are a key food source for bees and are the only food source for monarch caterpillars. However, milkweed plants are rapidly disappearing due to loss of habitat and widespread usage of weed killers.
“Especially amidst concerning reports of declining populations of beneficial insects and pollinators, it is essential that we take steps to protect them, and thus, protect our state,” Steckloff added.
Both bills were referred to the House Committee on Agriculture for further consideration.
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