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Saturday, May 25, 2024

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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

CT lawmakers water down bill addressing toxic pesticides

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Friday, March 8, 2024   

A Connecticut bill would have restricted toxic pesticides called neonicotinoids - or so it seemed. The bill's newest iteration, some experts feel, is a shell of the original, without the same protections.

Joyce Leiz, executive director of the Connecticut Audubon Society, noted the new version won't ban agricultural uses, but still mentions them in the bill. She said the new version also removes a ban on using these chemicals on golf courses or for landscaping.

"Those two areas would still be able to use neonicotinoids," she said. "Golf courses in the state of Connecticut represent between 8,000 to 12,000 acres of land and are the heaviest users of neonicotinoids for grub control."

Leiz said these chemicals don't impact the grubs as much as it seems. She feels the agriculture industry and golf courses are driving the bill's changes since they've used neonicotinoids for so long. Farmers rely on seeds coated with the chemical to repel insects.

The bill is under review by the Joint Committee on Environment.

The Connecticut Audubon Society will hold a conference on neonicotinoids on Monday. Anyone interested in attending can visit ctaudobon.org for more details.

Neonicotinoids have been banned or heavily restricted in numerous areas for the harmful effects they have on wildlife. Leiz says the coated seeds, while important for farmers, are problematic for birds.

"One coated seed can kill a songbird if that bird happens to pick it up in a field," she said. "It has enough neonicotinoids to kill a songbird. And then, the spraying on lawns kills our pollinators. So, we're losing our bees. We're losing our butterflies. "

Research shows beekeepers lost more than 45% of their honeybee colonies from 2020 and 2021. In humans, these pesticides have been linked to muscle tremors, lower testosterone and birth defects such as heart or brain deformities.


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