Ortho Phasing Out Neonics in Garden Products

22.04.2016 -

US garden care products manufacturer Ortho has announced plans to phase out neonicotinoids in eight products used to control garden pests and diseases by 2021. The first three products, for roses, flowers, trees and shrubs will be switched to another formula by 2017 and other products switched later, said the company, which belongs to Marysville, Ohio-based Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG).

Ortho’s vice president and general manager, Tim Martin, said the company is “acting out of concern for possible threats to honeybees and other pollinators and to reassure customers.” In a report published at the beginning of January, the US Environmental Protection Agency concluded that neonics pose a “significant risk” to honeybees when used on cotton and citrus but not when used on other big crops such as corn, berries and tobacco It did not address garden products.

EPA has stopped short of a ban or restrictions while continuing with tests. Many environmental advocacy groups would like to see the US implement a moratorium similar to that introduced in the EU in late 2013.

In Europe, tests with neonics to determine their possible implication in the phenomenon known as bee colony death are also in progress. First results expected by the end of this year.