To: Frank Blake, CEO, Home Depot and Robert Niblock, CEO, Lowe's

Home Depot and Lowe's: Stop Selling Bee-Killing Garden Plants!

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A growing body of science has implicated neonicotinoids (neonics), the world’s most widely used pesticide, as a key factor in recent global bee die-offs. Unfortunately, many of the “bee-friendly” seedlings and plants sold to unsuspecting consumers in your stores have been pre-treated with neonicotinoids at much higher doses than are used on farms, where levels of neonicotinoid use are already raising concerns among beekeepers and scientists.

Because there is no clear labeling to indicate the presence of neonics in nursery plants, customers like me may unknowingly purchase pre-treated “bee-friendly” plants with the intent of providing habitats for bees and other pollinators, but end up causing them harm. Obviously, this situation does not benefit bees, customers like me, or my trust in you as a retailer.

The EU has suspended popular neonics and a majority of the UK’s largest home improvement retailers, including Homebase, B&Q and Wickes, have made public commitments to no longer sell products containing pesticides linked to declining bee populations.

As a concerned customer I ask that you show similar leadership and commit to not sell neonicotinoid pesticides, as well as plants pretreated with these pesticides to protect honey bees and other pollinators essential to our food supply and the environment.

Why is this important?

A new study co-authored by the Friends of the Earth and Pesticide Research Institute found that seven out of 13 samples of garden plants purchased at top retailers in Washington D.C., the San Francisco Bay Area and Minneapolis contain neurotoxic pesticides known as neonicotinoids. Neonics, made by Bayer CropScience and Syngenta, are the fastest-growing class of synthetic pesticides.

They’re also linked to the mass die-off of honeybees.

How do we get bee-killing plants out of garden centers? We start by asking the CEOs of two of the largest national chains – Home Depot and Lowe’s – to stop selling them.

Help us, and our partner organizations, gather 300,000 signatures. When we reach that goal, we will meet with the CEOs of Home Depot (Frank Blake) and Lowe’s (Robert Niblock) and ask them to do what garden centers in the U.K. have done – commit to getting bee-killing garden plants out of their stores.

About 100 crop species provide 90 percent of food globally. Of those species, 71 are pollinated by bees. In the U.S. alone, a full one-third of the food supply depends on pollination from bees. Can we afford not to pressure Home Depot and Lowe’s into getting neonics out of our gardens?