Smith, Bateman Bill to Classify Neonicotinoid Pesticides for Restricted Use Clears Committee

Trenton – A bill sponsored by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee Chair Senator Bob Smith and Senator Christopher Bateman, which would direct the Department of Environmental Protection to classify neonicotinoid pesticides as restricted use pesticides, cleared the Senate Environment and Energy committee today.

“The use of neonicotinoid pesticides must be restricted to protect New Jersey’s citizens and environment,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “These insecticides should only be used by those who know the ramifications of excessive use and those who will use them appropriately to protect New Jersey’s agriculture and economy.”

The bill, S-2288, would direct the Department of Environmental Protection to classify neonicotinoid pesticides as restricted use pesticides. This classification would mean that neonicotinoids could only be purchased and used by certified and licensed pesticide applicators or by those under the direct supervision of these applicators

Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. The neonicotinoid family includes acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam.

Neonicotinoids have been linked to adverse ecological effects such as honey-bee colony collapse disorder. This bill follows similar bills that have been passed in other states and the European Union to curb the negative ecological effects of neonicotinoid pesticides.

The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 4-0-1.