Over 30 environmental and public health groups, joined by several environmentally conscious businesses, sent a letter today to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, urging him to remove products linked to pollinator declines from the retailer’s website.
Citing federal inertia that has allowed pollinator declines to continue at alarming rates, the groups point to the need for action from private companies to combat known threats to pollinators, in this case a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, found in many home and garden products.
The groups call on Amazon “to use its influence as the largest online retailer in the U.S. to lead marketplace change and protect pollinators by prohibiting the sale of pollinator-toxic neonicotinoid pesticide products, educating consumers on the availability of safer, “pollinator friendly” alternatives.”
This ask comes on the heels of last week’s decision by the federal government to officially list the rusty patch bumblebee – the first ever bumblebee- as an endangered species.
“With the Trump Administration set on dismantling the EPA, environmental groups and their supporters are turning to the private sector to lead the way on protecting pollinators,” asserted Jay Feldman, Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides, the organization that led the sign-on letter.
According to Dan Raichel, Staff Attorney at NRDC, “Putting an end to the bee crisis is going to take everyone’s help. Amazon can be a big part of the solution by ensuring that when their shoppers want to beautify their homes and gardens, they aren’t buying products that harm bees.”
“The marketplace is shifting. More than 65 garden retailers have made commitments to restrict the use of bee-killing pesticides on products and plants,” said Tiffany Finck-Haynes, food futures campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “It’s time for Amazon to step-up to the plate and stop selling bee-killing pesticides.”
The groups say that removing neonicotinoid pesticide products from Amazon’s website is imperative to protecting natural resources, specifically bees, butterflies and birds, as well as promoting water quality and soil health.
By taking action, Amazon would be joining with other retail leaders, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, which have committed to stop selling neonicotinoid products and treated plants at their stores, the organization said.