The organic and non-GMO movement has gained serious momentum over the past few years, and the change comes at a crucial time: pollinators such as bees and monarch butterflies are in peril, as their habitats and food sources are being destroyed by chemical-intensive agriculture.
The movement to save the bees has long been raging in Europe, as bans have been instituted on the pesticides and several countries have instituted GMO bans.
Meanwhile in the United States, the movement has yet to see actions match words at a similar level. But now, one of the country’s biggest organic retailers is taking a stand for the bees, and against the pesticides that kill them.
Costco to Suppliers: No More Neonicotinoids
Following in the footsteps of Lowe’s and Home Depot, which made announcements in 2015 to slowly phase out the bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides in their plants, Costco has reportedly requested that its suppliers end the use of bee-killing pesticides on garden plants sold in its stores.
The news comes courtesy of a report from Digital Journal, which said that the goal is limit the number of “non-essential” chemicals while halting the use of the controversial bee-killing seed coatings.
The coatings are mostly manufactured by Bayer, which has plans to merge with Monsanto still on the table, and Syngenta, the Swiss pesticide giant.
Recently, the EPA named four major pesticides of this variety as a major area of concern: Clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotefuran and imidacloprid.
While the agency sounded the alarm over the dangers of these pesticides, they stopped short of calling for an outright ban and instead recommended restrictions, which critics say aren’t enough. A lack of action on the EPA’s part also is concerning to activists; however Costco’s decision shows the power of taking the fight to corporations via consumer demand instead of waiting for the government to take action.
The Costco news comes as a huge win for consumers who have already grown fond of the mammoth, buy-in-bulk grocery stores.
Costco recently became the number one seller of organic food in the United States, and it has upped its commitment to supporting organic agriculture as well.
“Costco’s decision to limit these bee-killing pesticides on garden plants and increase its selection of organic products demonstrates it is listening to its customers and taking into account the most up-to-date sound science,” said Tiffany Finck-Haynes of Friends of the Earth, which launched a campaign urging Costco to make the change.
The announcement means that supporting Costco is supporting two key initiatives for helping the environment, and helping to stop the mass deaths being inflicted upon our pollinators.
For more on Costco’s plans, check out the full article by clicking here.