A federal risk assessment recently linked at least one common type of pesticide to negative impacts on honeybees, reigniting debate within the legislature. The Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association said no studies directly link golf course pesticide use to impacting pollinators.
The Minnesota House soon will decide whether certain pesticides should be prohibited from being used on golf courses, the Alexandria, Minn., Echo Press reported.
Legislative tweaks without associated expenditures were compiled by the House Agriculture Policy Committee and will be passed on to the full House. A similar bill awaits a Senate debate, Press reported.
A federal risk assessment recently linked at least one common type of pesticide to negative impacts on honeybees, reigniting debate over whether other pesticides were linked to the rash of unexplained bee deaths across the country, Press reported.
The bill would remove a requirement that licensed commercial or noncommercial applicators must have an appropriate use certification before they can apply pesticide to a golf course. Whitney Place, director of legislative affairs for the Agriculture Department, said the certification is duplicative because applicators already have to demonstrate competent use of pesticides to receive a license. She said the change would simplify the process, saving time and money for applicators, Press reported.
Rep. Jennifer Schultz, D-Duluth, unsuccessfully offered an amendment that would ban using organophosphates, neonicotinoids, carbamates and synthetic pyrethroids pesticides on golf courses. She said the ban is prudent given the Environmental Protection Agency’s finding and honeybees’ frequent use of vegetation near golf courses. She said these pesticides also raise concerns about health risks for humans, Press reported.
Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Matt Wohlman said the department opposes the amendment because it complicates regulation by basing it off of location instead of the type of pesticide, Press reported.
Jack MacKenzie objected to the amendment. The executive director of the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association said no studies directly link golf course pesticide use to impacting pollinators. He said certain bugs are a serious nuisance for golf courses, requiring effective pesticides, Press reported.
Rep. Clark Johnson, D-North Mankato, questioned why original language that would have required applicators to post a notice and make paperwork available when working near an apartment building wasn’t in the bill, Press reported.
“The increasing number of people in apartments deserve to know what pesticides are being used in these residences,” Johnson said.