by Nha Nguyen, Published November 22, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Agriculture is restricting pesticide use, specifically ones believed to have kill thousands of bees during the summer.
In June more than 50,000 bees were found dead in Wilsonville and later, hundreds in Hillsboro.
Some activists with the Eugene organization Beyond Toxics were in Salem on Thursday.
They say they presented a petition of 12,000 signatures to law makers during the day’s special session.
Following several presentations, it was decided that products that contain those reportedly harmful ingredients will be required to carry Oregon-special labels.
Beyond Toxics says legislation is important to the protection of these much needed insects.
“Bees pollinate everything from apples, to peaches, to plums, to figs, to carrots, to onions. Up to 70 percent of all the crops that come onto our dinner plates have something to do with bee pollination,” said Lisa Arkin, Beyond Toxics Executive Director.
Bee advocates say that Oregon could face a potential loss of more than $600 million in agricultural production if bees continue to decline.
Staff say while happy about this small victory, it’s not enough. They plan to fight for stronger restrictions, as well as promote the use of less harmful alternatives.