Yesterday morning, a kind friend who teaches sustainable agriculture and equine science classes emailed to let us know that we had been mistaken to believe that the word "pesticide" only refers to insecticides (chemicals that kill insects) and not herbicides as well.
We had criticized Rep. McNamara for claiming that neonicotinoids—a class of insecticide--were used to control weeds, and that "bees don't eat corn." We pointed out that bees gather and eat corn pollen from flowering tassels.
We were incorrect, however in saying that herbicides aren't pesticides; rather herbicides and insecticides are both pesticides. Bluestem has corrected the text of our post, "Bees don't eat corn," so Denny McNamara totally down with poison pollen on Legacy land. Our larger point stands: neonics aren't used for weed control in corn, as McNamara claimed and their use to treat corn affects pollinators that eat corn pollen.
As is the case so often when people learn new things, that information turns up in conversation or debate. That sort of synchronicity occurred for us later that day toward the end of the marathon
Representative Joe McDonald (R-Delano) makes a motion to move HF1322 from the Environment and Natural Resources committee to the Taxes committee. Representative Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) asks what the bill is about, and Hansen points out that herbicides are pesticides as defined under statute--and pesticides are regulated by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
This leads to Hansen's main point:
Members, we've had bills that dealt with the environment that haven't gone to the Environment [committee,] we have a number of bills that have been moved around very lackadaisically here.
Here's video of the exchange between McDonald and Hansen:
Hansen has a good point. It's important that the Majority pay attention to where the bills are being sent, just as the Speaker should try to avoid changing the rules within a session.
We corrected our copy when we learned that we were using terms incorrectly, and Speaker Daudt ought to acknowledge that his limited understanding of the rules shouldn't be used as a smokescreen for an agenda.
Photo: Bees gathering pollen on corn tassels.
If you appreciate Bluestem Prairie, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen P.O. Box 108, Maynard MN 56260) or use the paypal button below:
Email subscribers can contribute via this link to paypal; use email sally.jo.sorensen at gmail.com as recipient.