Letter of the Day (May 5): Pesticides and honeybees

  • Updated: May 2, 2014 - 6:44 PM

In my experience, consumers can’t get a straight answer on neonicotinoids.


Photo: Pat Wellenbach • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

There has been a lot of conversation recently about big-box stores selling plants that have been treated with neonicotinoids, systemic pesticides implicated in honeybee die-offs. I went to one such store this week and was given the name of the live goods buyer in the seasonal hardware department, the individual responsible for procuring plants for many stores in the chain. I specifically asked the buyer whether the plants were treated with neonicotinoids and received this noncommittal response: “Our growers follow all the recommended methods and controls for producing the healthiest plants possible. All federal, state and local guidelines are taken into account in the growers’ operations. All plants are labeled in accordance with federal guidelines as to where they are produced and by which grower.”

It is time for the Minnesota Legislature to step up and pass pending bills (HF 2908 and SF 2727) requiring plant labels to identify neonicotinoid usage, and for the growers and buyers to give meaningful responses to consumers, not this rope-a-dope nonsense that I received.

Susan Barrett, South St. Paul

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


  • about opinion

  • The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.

  • Submit a letter or commentary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters