Home Depot Reponds to Report On Pesticide Plant Sales and Bees

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Home Depot officials aren’t denying some of the allegations made in a report that found it, along with many other major garden retailers, are selling “bee friendly” plants that actually are treated with pesticides harmful to bees.

An email statement from one of the biggest home improvement retailers in the nation included the explanation that it plans to “require all of our live goods suppliers to label plants that they have treated with neonicotinoids by the fourth quarter of 2014.”

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency photo.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency photo.

Which appears to mean that the box store is currently selling plants treated with that type of bee-harmful pesticide without labeling them. Honey bee populations around the world have been plunging in recent years and scientists believe it’s the result of a number of factors, including pesticides.

A study conducted by the Pesticide Research Institute focused on neonicotinoids (also known as “neonics”), a common type of pesticide that has also been found to be hazardous to honey bees. Researchers found that more than half the samples from big garden retailer operations in 18 cities in the U.S. and Canada were treated with neonics, even though they were being promoted as “bee friendly” flowers and plants.

“The Home Depot is deeply engaged in understanding the relationship of the use of certain pesticides on our live goods and the decline in the honey bee population,” Home Depot spokeswoman Catherine H. Woodling said in an email Thursday.

“We’re glad to provide customers with alternative products for their insecticide needs and are actively working with our live goods suppliers to find alternative insecticides for protecting live goods and bees,” Woodling said.

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