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New plant labeling law protects pollinators

A new plant labeling law is now in effect in Minnesota to protect pollinators, such as honeybees, from exposure to toxic levels of insecticides.

The new law became effective Tuesday, July 1 and requires that plants advertised as “beneficial to pollinators” must be free of detectable levels of certain systemic insecticides.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will enforce the law. MDA director of plant protection, Geir Friisoe, said the law is meant to protect plant pollinators from exposure to detectable levels of insecticide residues that may persist in flowering plants sold in Minnesota nurseries.

“The new law does not allow labeling or advertising of plants as ‘beneficial to pollinators’ if the plants have been treated with certain systemic insecticides,” Friisoe said. “Systemic insecticides are compounds that move within the tissues of a plant, which means they can potentially reach the plant flowers where pollinators may be feeding or collecting pollen.”

For more information, visit www.mda.state.mn.us/labelfactsheet or email mda.

nursery@state.mn.us.

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