Farmers who grow crops on national wildlife refuges in the Northwest won't be allowed to use neonicotinoid pesticides beginning in 2016.
Neonicotinoid pesticides will be phased out from national wildlife refuges in the Northwest, a move that troubles industry groups that believe the chemicals are being unfairly targeted.
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to eliminate the use of neonicotinoids by 2016 on roughly 8,700 acres of refuge land where farmers grow crops in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
Environmentalists have cheered the phase-out, which they say will benefit pollinators and native species that inhabit refuge lands in the agency's Pacific region.
"This is a good first step that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is taking note." said Paige Tomaselli, attorney with the Center for Food Safety environmental group. "Hopefully, it will lead other agencies to take note."
That's exactly the effect feared by industry groups that see neonicotinoids as a safe tool for pest control if used properly.
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