Pesticides and Neonicotinoids

PRS Briefs
Saturday, March 27, 2021

In recent years, research has increasingly suggested that pesticides such as neonicotinoids cause harm to the environment and pollinator populations. The New Hampshire legislature introduced a bill in January 2019 to ban the use and sale of insecticides and treated seeds in the following categories: neonicotinoids (neonics), sulfoximines, butenolides, and phenyl-pyrazoles.1 The Committee on Environment and Agriculture Committee in the New Hampshire House of Representatives is interested in obtaining additional data about the impacts of neonics to inform potential decisions on neonic regulation. This report first provides an overview of pesticide and neonic usage, including licensing procedures in the state of New Hampshire. We then explore the risks of neonics to pollinator and human health. Despite this potential harm, neonics are widely used insecticides—we therefore also examine the economic benefits of using neonics. Following this review of both risks and benefits, this report evaluates the reasoning and consequences behind neonic regulations in other states to
assess the most effective regulatory path for New Hampshire.