Birds and Bees - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 2072705

Birds and Bees

Are you aware that neonicotinoids, or “neonics,” are dangerous neurotoxic pesticides linked to massive bee and insect losses throughout the world, which also affect our food supply, our water supply and our own health?

In the United States, neonics have made agriculture 48 times more harmful to our vital pollinators since their introduction in the mid-1990s. Neonics are coated on corn, wheat, soy and barley seeds before planting, with few benefits. They are easily replaceable with safer alternatives, according to 2020 Cornell University research on more than 1,100 scientific studies on neonics.

The newly reintroduced Birds and Bees Protection Act (S1856 — Hoylman-Sigal) would address the harmful effects of neonics in our state. The bill passed with bipartisan support in the New York State Assembly last session but failed in the New York State Senate.

Long-lasting neonics destroy our birds and bees, become infused in plants that are then eaten by humans, and remain in the soil long enough to be washed by rain into drinking water supplies and marine environments. The bill bans the harmful and unnecessary uses that account for 80 to 90 percent of the neonics entering our state’s environment every year.

The threat to human health is evidenced by a recent study of 171 pregnant women from New York and other states, which found the pesticides in over 95 percent of participants. Children are particularly vulnerable.

Take three minutes to view “Neonics, the Toxic Truth,” a YouTube video on the effects of neonics. It should inspire readers to contact New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele (who co-sponsored the act in the last session) at 631-537-2583 and New York State Senator Anthony Palumbo at 631-461-9100 to ask for their continued support of the Birds and Bees Protection Act.

The Westhampton Garden Club, along with more than 160 state organizations, has signed a letter of support for the bill to Governor Kathy Hochul and others. We urge all District 1 residents to advocate for the passage of the bill, too.

Joy Flynn

Lynda Confessore

Conservation Committee

Westhampton Garden Club