Toxics Action Center contributed research to Gardeners Beware, a study released Wednesday by Friends of the Earth that examines the effects of pesticide use on bees. The report exposes several major retailers for selling garden plants containing neonics -- a type of pesticide typically used on corn crops that is suspected to be a major factor in the rapidly declining bee population -- and a handful of companies have already responded by announcing initiatives to reduce the sale or require labeling of plants containing the chemical.
The report found that more than half of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contained neonic pesticides. While scientists, beekeepers, and consumer groups believe bee deaths are linked to these pesticides, Big Ag has been vocally adament that a variety of factors, such as mites, are killing bees.
Bees pollenate about 25% of the food consumed by Americans.