Home gardners snared in pesticide bill

Associated Oregon Industries
Oregon’s largest business advocate

Representative Jeff Reardon (D-Portland) plans to introduce a bill in the February 2014 Legislative Session that would add certain pesticides to the state’s restricted use list, effectively preventing the retail sale of products containing those chemicals to home gardeners.  Although the proposal will primarily impact home gardeners, it was prompted by an incident last summer in which a licensed professional pesticide company failed to follow label instructions and sprayed blooming European Linden trees with the pesticide dinotefuran.  Spraying the trees while in bloom resulted in the death of more than 50,000 bumble bees.

The bill will require gardener’s to take an online course designed to educate them about proper application of pesticides.  Upon completion of the course, the gardener would have to pass a test and obtain a license in order to purchase products containing dinotefuran, imidacloprid, clothianidin, or thiamethoxam.  License checking and reporting requirements for sale of pesticides on the restricted list would make it impractical for retailers to continue selling such products.

AOI will be working with Representative Reardon and other members of the Legislature to ensure that they understand the negative impact the bill would have on retailers and home gardener’s.  See the draft bill here.

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