The release of the Minnesota House's unscientific State Fair poll results--which found that fairgoers favored gas tax increases and allowing transgender people to pee in the bathrooms of their choosing--has overshadowed the results of the polling at the state senate's fair booth, which included a different set of questions.
As a gardener, rural resident and citizen, Bluestem Prairie found fairgoers' responses to Question #3 the most interesting:
Because of the effects on bees and other pollinators, which of the following should the legislature enact to restrict the use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids?
A) Totally ban the use of neonicotinoids for home and agriculture use 50.30% (2572)
B) Ban the use of neonicotinoids at the consumer level (home use and pretreating plants purchased for the home), while still allowing neonicotinoids to be used for agriculture purposes by those who are trained in their use 22.65% (1,158)
C) Maintain the current law requiring the proper labeling of neonicotinoid use on plants, but do not regulate the use of specific insecticides or products 14.73% (753)
D) Undecided/No opinion 12.32% (630)
We're talking the State Fair here, not a dirty hippie convention, so it's astonishing that so many poll takers at the Great Minnesota Get Together are willing to entertain complete or partial bans on neonic use in the North Star State.
Indeed, that slightly over half of those answering the question favor a complete ban of neonics puts the Ag Mafia's whining about Governor Mark's executive order in an entirely different light. Using the findings of a pollinators summit and a subsequent scientific study, the administration came to a more moderate conclusion and policy.
We learned today that the House Ag Policy committee plans an "Informational Hearing" on Tuesday, September 13 on Dayton's executive order. While the committee has posted the order and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's summary of the study, it hasn't posted the list of those who attended the pollinators summit last February. The list of participants is included at the end of the MDA Pollinators Summit Outcomes report. Representatives from the Minnesota Corn Growers, Farm Bureau and other farm groups were there.
Perhaps this absence will make it easier for the Ag Mafia to whine about not being consulted about the policy making. If some members of the ag community couldn't bother to attend the summit, why are they to be afforded a special place at the table outside of the process? If they did attend, what's the basis of the claim that ag wasn't in the loop?
Or are they simply more equal than the rest of the stakeholders in pollinator policy?
For more information, check out our earlier posts:
Image: A poster about native bees. Bee City posts: "This poster from the Pollinator Partnership is one our best teaching tools. It illustrates some of the 4000 species of native bees in the United States."
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