WASHINGTON, D.C. — Legislation in Oregon that would have banned the use of four neonicotinoid pesticides for home and garden uses has been severely gutted, following push back from agricultural and nursery interests. 

The original bill, HB4139, was introduced earlier this year in response to several bee-kill incidents in Oregon last summer, including one that killed more than 50,000 bumblebees after a licensed pesticide applicator sprayed blooming linden trees, a violation of the pesticide label. After a preliminary investigation, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) confirmed that the massive bee die-off was caused by the use of the insecticide dinotefuran. 

The resulting bill has now been drastically amended, requiring Oregon State University, in collaboration with Oregon’s Department of Agriculture, to develop best practices for chemical usage to minimize pollinator harm. It also creates a 10-member Task Force on Pollinator Health that would examine current and potential pesticide regulations.