At American Meadows, we care deeply about what we do, and consider gardening’s connection to the environment a critical element of our work. Like many of our customers, we’ve become more and more aware of and concerned about the potential link between neonicotinoids and the loss of pollinators, especially bees and pollinating birds that rely on insects for food.
We have worked with all of our growers and suppliers to better understand if, how, and why neonicotinoids are used in the production of our plants and bulbs.
We can happily say that the vast majority of our products are neonicotinoid-free. ALL of our wildflower seeds are neonicotinoid-free.
For those products that are not identified as free of neonicotinoids, in each instance neonicotinoids have historically been used reactively to combat pests.
For instance, mealybugs have proven to be particularly difficult to eradicate. At times, our cactus growers have used spot application of neonicotinoids in their greenhouses (a controlled environment) to eliminate this pest.
What are Neonicotinoids?
Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides that are chemically related to nicotine. They are systemic, meaning plants absorb them, and insects that consume the plant or elements of the plant such as its leaves or pollen, are susceptible to their effects. Although there are no conclusive studies, there is enough evidence that these insecticides may be adversely affecting pollinators that some countries have banned certain 'neonics' until they can be proven safe. The U.S. currently does not have such restrictions.
Neonicotinoids were introduced to be a safer alternative to the previous generation of harsh insect-controlling chemicals. Now, research is driving the horticulture industry to find a better solution. At American Meadows, we are committed to being a part of that solution.
For a list of common home pesticides that contain neonicotinoids, check out the Center for Food Safety's Fact Sheet.
At American Meadows, we pledge to:
Identify which products are neonicotinoid-free on our website so that you, our customer, can make an informed choice when planning your garden. You can find this in the "Plant Information" tab on any product page.
Work to inform our customers about the dangers of neonicotinoids in the home garden. Much of the damage from these pesticides occur when unknowing homeowners purchase and use (or over-use) common pest control products that contain neonicotinoids
American Meadows is dedicated to environmentally-responsible gardening practices. As such, we want to minimize the use of any and all chemicals, and instead work in harmony with nature to produce results.
For further reading, we recommend some of the excellent articles on the topic available at Scientific Beekeeping.