ALBANY – Following the Senate’s passage of S.1856, “The Birds and Bees Protection Act,” Senator George Borrello issued the following statement:
“I am deeply disappointed at the Senate’s passage of this bill which will ban neonicotinoids (“neonics”), which are seed treatments that contain extremely small amounts of pesticides. Use of this innovative technology has helped farmers optimize crop yield and quality and allowed them to greatly reduce the large-scale spraying of older, more toxic and environmentally harmful pesticides. Pesticide application rates will increase by an estimated 375 percent per acre.
Neonic safety for bees and other pollinators has been confirmed by studies and the product has been registered for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). This attempt by legislators to override the DEC’s regulatory authority and expertise in this area is reckless and sets a dangerous precedent.
Ultimately, if this misguided bill is signed into law, it will be another blow to New York State farmers whose livelihoods have been under attack by this Legislature over the past three years. Multi-generational family farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to compete with other states because of the continuing and unreasonable mandates, costs and regulations that are being heaped on them. I strongly urge my colleagues in the Assembly to reject this harmful and unjustified measure.”