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Home Depot to Require Neonicotinoids Labeling

honeybeeHome Depot and other retailers have said they plan to ban or limit the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been linked to honeybee decline.

Home Depot says it will require its suppliers to start labeling any plants treated with neonicotinoids by the fourth quarter of this year, Reuters reports. The world’s largest home improvement retailers is also running tests to see if suppliers can eliminate the chemical in their plant production.

East Coast-based BJ’s Wholesale Club has asked its vendors to provide plants free of neonicotinoids by the end of 2014 or to label them “caution around pollinators,” according to the news agency.

Meanwhile, at least 10 other smaller retailers, with locations in Minnesota, Colorado, Maryland and California, plan to limit or eliminate neonicotinoids.

The moves follow a study to be published in the Journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research that finds neonicotinoids are a key factor in honeybee decline.

The analysis, called the Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA), finds that neonicotinoids pose a serious risk of harm to honeybees and other pollinators such as butterflies and to a wide range of other invertebrates such as earthworms and vertebrates such as birds.

Last year two UK hardware retailers, B&Q and Wickes, said they will no longer sell products containing neonicotinoids.

In April 2013 the European Union voted to impose a two-year ban on neonicotinoids. Bayer, along with other agribusiness companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta and BASF, argue the pesticides are not responsible for honeybee decline.


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18 thoughts on “Home Depot to Require Neonicotinoids Labeling

  1. Hmmm….I remember when Big Tobacco said cigarettes were safe……FOLLOW THE MONEY. Of course the Big Ag co’s are going to say they’re not responsible!

  2. Please remove all neonictinoids from your shelves and join a growing list of concerned citizens and companies that want to protect our valuable pollinators. Thank you not only from me but future generations.

  3. Labeling is a positive first step, but how many consumers will actually recognize neonicotinoid or understand its implications?

  4. If Home Depot follows through on this commitment for the 2015 garden planting season, I will shift my business away from Lowe’s, which so far refuses to ban (or at least label) such plants. I agree, however, with the previous poster: I didn’t know what neonicotinoids were till I got a petition from Credo. http://bit.ly/1IAEcPQ

  5. On 4/15/15 I bought two cherry trees from Home Depot. I couldn’t see any label about neonicotinoids on them. The neonicitinoid label was on a little “plant tag” INSIDE THE BURLAP!!! How is a customer supposed to know before buying?

    To check, we’ll have to remove the tree or other plant from the pot, unpin the burlap, and rummage through the rootball to find the tag. I suppose I’d have to get a camera crew — or a lawyer, because I don’t think Home Depot would like it much!

    PROMISING that they aren’t selling neonic contaminated plants and then HIDING the fact until after purchase is clearly a deceptive practice. To make things worse, the soil from the root ball fell off spilling into my garden. Neonics are stable in the ground for 3-6 years. Being water soluable they will travel some in the ground.

    I tried to file a complaint with the FTC but couldn’t find the appropriate category. I’ll contact the MN Atty General Monday.

    Meanwhile, I’ll not buy any plants from Home Depot except for BONNIE PLANTS which do NOT use neonicotinoids.

  6. I also bought 2 plants from Home Depot which did not have a visible label that it contained neonicotinoids. When I went to take the plant out of the container I noticed the label stuck between the root/soil and the container. This is clearly unscrupulous consumer deception.

  7. Look at those tags. They are proudly telling consumers that the plants are treated with neonicotinoids as a way to kill bugs. They are using it as a selling point-not a deterrant!!! I couldn’t find any plants yesterday without neonics at Home Depot.

  8. Browsing through homedepot today I came across a nice butterfly bush plant. I noticed the neonicotinoid label and instantly became wary. This is the first time I’ve seen labels. I refuse to buy plants with the neonics. The use of this pesticide is non logical, just to deter insects such as aphids! Yet it’s kiling off the bees and butterflies!

  9. I just bought plants at Home Depot. When I got home I noticed the labels. I’m about to load the plants back into my car and return them. Yes, Jill, it seems that they are using the info as a selling point.

  10. Damit! Found the elusive neonics tag on a plant that I was going to add to my garden- ugh- taking this back and not buying any more plants from HD until they eliminate neonic spraying suppliers

  11. I also recently purchased a beautiful rose bush from Home Depot and specifically looked to see if it was treated with neonics before buying. There was no visible label stating it was treated so I happily took it home. I stalled for awhile and didn’t immediately repot it. I was completely surprised when I removed the rose from its HD container and found a label wedged all the way down between the side of the pot and the football. It was purposely concealed. I’m so upset by the dishonesty in practice by a company I have always trusted. It’s been too long to return it and I can’t imagine purposefully killing it. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  12. Return it. You can do it with sales receipt or without. It is never too late to try. Explain why you are returning it ” Didn’t want it because…Home Depot needs to know why. They stopped selling first growth forest redwoods. We protested in Sacramento, California. They must stop killing bees, butterflies. There’s a federal bill to Save the Pollinators that was defeated once in 2014 but will come up again in 2016. Your representatives need to hear from you.

  13. Complain on their facebook page that the label was hidden. Everyone can review Home Depot on their Facebook page, and demand that they stop using this. There are labels now, but I didn’t see that they said “These plants will kill pollinators”; they used it as a selling feature: “We use neonicotinoids for aphids,” and some other pests. They make it sound like a good thing. It’s intentionally misleading, and probably worse than no notice, because most people don’t know what it is. Pressure them on social media: bad press is the only way to stop their greed and disregard for the bees.

  14. PLEASE realize that the tags are there FOR you. THANK Home Depot. You’re buying the exact same plants at other stores but you simply don’t know it because they don’t label them. Home Depot is taking a wonderful first step to require labeling.

  15. My local Home Depot is not labelling. The Nursery staff, the grower staff, and the store Asst. Mgr. had never heard of the labels.

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