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  • Writer's picturePollinator Stewardship Council

State Updates

The Attorneys General of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have recently submitted comments to the EPA demanding restrictions on sulfoxaflor.  The thirteen states account for approximately 37% of national crop production and posess "extraordinary natural resources and ecosystems and are home to a variety of threatened and endangered species and critical habitats. These two attributes are also interrelated—billions of dollars’ worth of agricultural output relies on insect-mediated pollination...  The Undersigned States are committed to protecting our states’ economies and ecosystems. We rely on pollinators, which are already threatened by an ongoing crisis. Because sulfoxaflor is highly toxic to pollinators, its unmitigated use presents serious concerns for our state interests."  Read the full comments letter here. 

The legacy of forever chemicals lives on in Washington state, with recent soil testing along a five-mile section near the Okanogan River showing high levels of DDE (a remnant/breakdown product of DDT). The former fruit orchard region used this chemical for many years but was banned in 1972 by the EPA.  However, the toxic chemical continues to contaminate plants grown in this region more than 50 years after it was last applied.  The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board recently placed a hold on 16 producer licenses in the region after testing showed the presence of this forever chemical in cannabis plants and products.  As many of these growers rely on organic practices to produce their plants, the presence of this dangerous chemical in their plants and products came as a huge surprise, and owners are struggling to make sense of how this will impact the future of their business.  

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