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Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. plans to move away from using a class of insecticides called neonicotinoids in its Ortho brand lawn and garden products amid concerns about how the chemicals affect bees vital to U.S. agriculture.
The Ohio-based company said that earlier this spring it expanded its offerings of non-neonicotinoids based garden products and that the Ortho brand aims to eliminate the use of neonicotinoid ingredients imidacloprid, clothianidin and dinotefuran by 2017.
"This decision comes after careful consideration regarding the range of possible threats to honey bees and other pollinators," said Tim Martin, general manager of the Ortho brand. Mr. Martin noted that the U.S. government is still evaluating the overall effect of neonics on bees and other pollinators.
Scotts Miracle-Gro also entered a multiyear partnership with the Pollinator Stewardship Council, a U.S. pollinator advocacy organization and supporter of more than 550 beekeepers throughout the country, expanding a previous collaboration with the organization. The company also plans to work with the council and other partners to urge the government to allow new labeling language to help consumers identify pesticides without neonicotinoids.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a preliminary review said one variety of the chemicals, called imidacloprid, can leave residue in cotton and citrus plants at levels that could harm bee colonies, but that levels on other crops like corn and leafy vegetables didn't pose a risk.
The EPA added that more data is needed to fully assess the risks from use on cereal grains and legumes. The agency at the time said the preliminary report was the first of four bee-focused neonicotinoid reviews it aims to complete by 2017.
In the U.S., Scotts Miracle-Gro's other brands include Scotts and Miracle-Gro. The company also markets the consumer Roundup brand, which is owned by Monsanto Co.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 12, 2016 09:45 ET (13:45 GMT)
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