The New Year starts with more positive news. Aldi Süd, a German supermarket chain with stores in the U.S., has become the first major European retailer to ban pesticides toxic to bees, including the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam, from all produce sold in their stores. 
The announcement was made January 1st, with the retailer expecting fruit and vegetable suppliers for their stores to comply with their new policy ASAP. The following pesticides will no longer be tolerated:
The decision to ban bee-toxic pesticides comes following public pressure, and follows another German retailer’s decision to ban the herbicide chemical glyphosate – another toxic compound that is fueling numerous problems.
According to a press release from Greenpeace, the chemicals are used on various commodities in Europe:
- Thiamethoxam – applied to lettuce and endive
- Chlorpyrifos, clothianidin – applied to kohlrabi, herbs, Brussels sprouts, head cabbage, cauliflower, and kale
- Cypermethrin – applied to leek, head cabbage, and leguminous vegetables
- Deltamethrin – applied to cauliflower, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, pea, head cabbage, tomato, and lettuce
- Imidacloprid – applied to apples, peaches, apricots, and lettuce
- Sulfoxaflor was recently granted regulatory approval in Europe, despite calls and legal action to prohibit its registration 
The UK’s largest garden retailers, including Homebase, B&Q, and Wickes have already voluntarily stopped selling neonicotinoids.
These pesticides have proven to cause problems for bee reproduction, navigation, and foraging, as well as the suppression of bee immune systems. Just this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its preliminary pollinator assessment for the neonic imidacloprid which finds various residues of the chemical in crops where the pollinators forage, and confirms bees’ widespread and sustained exposure to the highly toxic and persistent chemical through poisoned pollen and nectar.
Sadly, requests for our government agencies to ban these pesticides have been ignored.
Thanks Aldi, for doing the right thing and protecting the bees!
Image used from: Spiegel.de