Despite voting against the measure last year, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D, Forestburgh) said she is happy with the amendments Governor Kathy Hochul has made to the “Birds and Bees Protection Act” and now supports the legislation. Gunther cited concerns from farmers as her reason for originally opposing the bill but says that the issues raised by the agricultural community have been properly addressed in a set of key changes.
“The original legislation to ban an entire class of pesticides was strongly opposed by New York’s farmers and I voted against it,” said Gunther, who is also a member of the Assembly Agricultural Committee. “However, I will support the amended bill as it creates sufficient time for the Department of Environmental Conservation to let science guide New York’s transition away from the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in field crop and turf production.”
Concerns arose that these pesticides can have a harmful impact on bees, which led to proposals to ban them outright.
According to Gunther, in signing the bill as amended, the legislation will allow for sufficient time for innovative research on alternatives to these pesticides and the development of more cost-effective products that are less harmful to the environment. Once the new measure takes effect, the use of neonicotinoids will be subject to science-based evaluations and waiver provisions to assist farm and agriculture operations in the transition to this new program, rather than an outright ban.
Source: Mid-Hudson News