US garden retailers plant neonicotinoid traces falls

US garden retailers appear to be selling fewer ornamental plants with traces of neonicotinoids in them, according to a new 'Gardeners Beware' report.

Some 23 per cent of plants (14 out of 60 tested) from stores and nurseries tested by environmental activists contained pesticides at levels that could be harmful to bees. Two previous reports, in 2013 and 2014, revealed that more than half of the samples contained neonicotinoid traces.

"Our data indicates that compared to two years ago, fewer nurseries and garden stores are selling plants pre-treated with systemic neonicotinoid insecticides," said Susan Kegley, a chemist at the Pesticide Research Institute and lead author of the report by the institute and Friends of the Earth.

The study was of plants bought at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, True Value and Walmart.

The Gardeners Beware 2016 report suggest grower production methods have resulted in reduced use of neonicotinoids in common garden plants overall.  

Large retailers, including Home Depot and Lowe's, have made commitments to phase out use of these pesticides. Ace Hardware, True Value and Walmart have not yet made similar commitments to eliminate neonics in their stores.

In the UK, Professor Dave Goulson crowdfunded research into neonicotinoid use on garden centre plants.

NFU chief horticulture adviser Dr Chris Hartfield said research would not answer scientific questions on whether neonicotinoids are actually responsible for any pollinator declines.

A YouGov Poll conducted in 2016 and released in conjunction with the report found that 67 per cent of Americans feel more positively about Home Depot and 66 per cent feel more positively about Lowe’s because of their formal commitments to eliminate neonics. Following this survey, half of respondents said they are more likely to shop at Home Depot (50 per cent) and Lowe’s (51 per cent) because of the retailer’s commitment. Further, more than a third (39 per cent) said they’d feel more negatively about a retailer that had not formally committed to eliminate systemic neonicotinoid insecticides.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What's in store for garden retail in 2017?

What's in store for garden retail in 2017?

Impact of Brexit, inflationary pressures, houseplants gaining popularity and online market.

Growing media - Everything to play for

Growing media - Everything to play for

Exchange rate issues are likely to dominate the growing media market in 2017 as suppliers continue to innovate, Matthew Appleby reports.

What will be the key garden trends in 2017?

What will be the key garden trends in 2017?

Gardening trends for 2017 could include cacti, urban gardening, living walls and unusual foods, a round-up of reports from analysts and retailers has shown.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Garden retail Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. NEW: 2016 listing just published

Garden Centre Prices

GARDEN CENTRE PRICES w/e 16 November 2016
GARDEN CENTRE PRICES w/e 19 October 2016
GARDEN CENTRE PRICES w/e 21 September 2016

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here