Governor Murphy signs bill that addresses threat to pollinators


TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today signed into law A2070 (Calabrese)/S1016 (Smith), which bans most non-agricultural outdoor uses of harmful neonicotinoid pesticides. An outpouring of scientific evidence indicates that neonicotinoids are one of the main causes of bee losses; a threat to birds, other wildlife and human health; and a cause of widespread water contamination.

“This landmark legislation positions New Jersey as a national leader in protecting pollinators, wildlife and people from neon contamination,” said Lucas Rhoads, staff attorney for the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “The law builds on the latest science to ban the largest uses of neonics in the state. This is great news not only for neonic-poisoned pollinators, but for all farmers who depend on the insect pollination and for all New Jerseyans who value thriving ecosystems.”

In New Jersey, beekeepers have lost more than 40 percent of their bee colonies nearly every year for the past decade, suggesting similar potential catastrophic losses for the more than 300 species of bees native to New Jersey. ‘State. These losses threaten both the state’s ecosystems and many of New Jersey’s most valuable crops, including blueberries, apples and cherries, which rely heavily on insect pollination. Rutgers’ research found that some of these crops are already “pollinator-limited,” meaning that a lack of pollinators already limits their production.

“We are thrilled to see the Governor sign the Save the Bees Common Sense Bill. In New Jersey, bees are a $7 million industry and help pollinate nearly $200 million worth of fruits and vegetables annually. Pesticide companies cannot be allowed to continue to put their profits ahead of the health and well-being of our residents and the food supply,” said Ed Potosnak, executive director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “We thank Governor and Assemblyman Calabrese, Senator Bateman and Senator Smith for their leadership on this crucial bill.”

Scientific research increasingly identifies neonics as a contributor to mass bird losses, such as the 30% decline in North American birds over the past 50 years. Eating a single seed treated with neonics is enough to kill some songbirds, and even at low doses, neonics can harm birds’ immune systems, fertility and cause rapid weight loss, reducing the chances of birds surviving in nature.

“We are thrilled to see New Jersey pass critical legislation to protect pollinators and other wildlife such as birds,” said Drew Tompkins, Policy Director for NJ Audubon. “Neonicotinoids unequivocally have significant negative impacts on pollinators, which are vital to our food supply and the overall ecosystem. This law takes significant steps to prevent much of this dangerous pesticide from entering our environment.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, half of the US population is regularly exposed to neonicotinoids – a worrying statistic given that studies suggest neonics may increase the risk of developmental or neurological damage in humans, including birth defects. developing heart and brain, memory loss and tremor of the fingers.

In New Jersey, neonics appear frequently in state surface water tests at levels that could harm aquatic life. Neonics hollow out ecosystems by eradicating populations of aquatic insects that birds, fish, amphibians and other animals depend on for food. Dwindling trout and wild bird populations, in turn, threaten New Jersey’s tourism and recreation industries.


The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international non-profit environmental organization with over 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health and the environment. The NRDC has offices in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.


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