Home Depot to phase out neonics by 2018

Home Depot to phase out neonics by 2018

The phase-out will occur by the end of 2018 unless "undisputed science" proves neonicotinoid pesticides do not have a lethal or sub-lethal effect on pollinators.

December 3, 2015

Home Depot, the world’s largest home-improvement chain, has announced that it has removed neonicotinoid pesticides from 80 percent of its flowering plants and that it will complete its phase-out in plants by 2018.

The retailer states on its website that it will continue this decrease unless either of the following conditions occur:
1) it is required by state or federal regulation, or
2) undisputed science proves that the use of neonicotinoids on our live goods does not have a lethal or sub lethal effect on pollinators. 

This announcement follows an ongoing campaign and letter by Friends of the Earth and allies urging Home Depot to stop selling plants treated with neonicotinoids and remove neonic pesticides from store shelves.

Last fall, Home Depot announced it would require its suppliers to label all plants treated with neonicotinoid pesticides by the fourth quarter of 2014. It also committed to “find alternative insecticides for protecting live goods and bees.”

In April, Lowe's announced it would stop selling products that contain neonicotinoid pesticides, phasing them out over the next four years. The retailer's statement prompted an immediate response from AmericanHort, the Horticultural Research Institute, the Society of American Florists, and the American Floral Endowment -- organizations made up of professional horticulturists.

"Although the improper use of pesticides can harm bees, a growing number of credible independent studies indicate that neonicotinoids, when used as directed, are not the cause of widespread bee health issues," the organizations' joint statement reads. "Consumers want plants that are healthy, beautiful and pest-free, and neonicotinoids have proven to be among the most effective pest management tools available. Neonicotinoids also are among the safest products we have for both our employees and the environment."