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Reps. Tenney, Langworthy Urge Gov to Veto Birds and Bees Protection Act


Congresswoman Claudia Tenney and Congressman Nick Langworthy sent a letter (see below) to Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday urging her to veto New York State Senate Bill S1856A, the Birds and Bees Protection Act, which would ban 80 to 90 percent of neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) that are used on crops such as corn, soybean, and wheat seeds.

The New York State Senate recently approved a bill aimed at targeting farmers and producers that use neonics to treat crops such as corn, wheat, and soy seeds. This bill was influenced by a 2020 Cornell University study that suggests neonics endanger New York’s bee population without significant benefits to farmers. According to Tenney and Langworthy, the study is out of step with decades of scientific findings, and there is no consensus that neonics usage harms bee populations. In fact, if enacted, both Congressional representatives say the bill could cause pesticide application rates per acre to surge by approximately 375%, leading to higher carbon emissions and soil erosion. This would cause increased costs for farmers and appreciable environmental harm to our state’s waterways and rural communities.

“Albany Democrats are once again targeting Upstate family farmers, imposing unscientific restrictions on our agriculture industry. This move will further exacerbate the challenges our agricultural producers already face due to burdensome regulations, high prices, and labor shortages,” said Congresswoman Tenney. “New York’s 24th District, one of the largest agriculture districts in the Northeast, is home to many of the hardworking farmers who feed our community, state, and nation. It is essential that we do not place any more onerous and unscientific regulations on this vital part of our state economy. Governor Hochul must immediately veto this bill and prevent this step backward for farmers and our rural communities.”

“Farmers depend upon pollinators for the success of their businesses. This bill would drive farmers to actually use more pesticides by virtue of banning seed treatments that contain extremely small amounts of needed pesticide products. Instead, farmers would be forced to perform larger scale foliar applications of pesticides to control pests that wreak havoc on crops. Care should be taken by Governor Hochul to balance the devastating impact to crop yields from damaging pests and signing a bill that will actually lead to the use of more pesticides in fields. We greatly appreciate the support of Congresswoman Tenney on this critical issue impact the agricultural community in New York State,” said David Fisher, President of New York Farm Bureau.

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