APNewsBreak: Ortho to drop chemicals linked to bee declines

DENVER (AP) — Garden-care giant Ortho says it will stop using a class of chemicals widely believed to harm bees.

The company said Tuesday it will phase out neonicotinoids (NEE’-oh-NIK’-uh-tuh-noyds) by 2021 in eight products used to control garden pests and plant diseases.

The chemicals, called neonics (NEE’-oh-niks) for short, attack the central nervous systems of insects. Some advocates say they are one of several reasons behind declining populations of bees, which are major pollinators of food crops.

Ortho said it was acting because of “possible threats to honey bees and other pollinators.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what impact the decision would have on the health of the overall bee population. Neonics are also used on food and textile crops such as corn and cotton.

Ortho is a division of Ohio-based Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.

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