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Bill to Protect Bees Withdrawn After Ag Business Criticism

PORTLAND, Maine - A bill designed to protect bees in Maine from a class of pesticides has been withdrawn in the wake of criticism from agricultural interests.
 
Rep. Michael Devin, a Newcastle Democrat, proposed the bill, which would have put limits on the use and sale of neonicotinoids. Those are insect-killing pesticides that are among a number of factors that have been blamed for falling pollinator populations.
 
Chemical industry giant Bayer, which makes neonicotinoids, testified against the bill. So did the Maine Potato Board.
 
The Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry voted against recommending passage of the bill on April 25. Devin says he then withdrew it.
 
He says he plans to work up a new bill on the subject in the future that he hopes will be more politically viable.