BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AJR 29
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 9, 2012

                          ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
                              Cathleen Galgiani, Chair
                  AJR 29 (Allen) - As Introduced:  February 24, 2012
           
          SUBJECT  :  Pollinators.

           SUMMARY  :  Memorializes the United Stated Environmental 
          Protection Agency (USEPA) and the California Department of 
          Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to act quickly to protect honeybees 
          (bees) by banning neonicotinoid products that harm pollinators.  
          Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)States that California agriculture is a major industry 
            responsible for one in 10 jobs in the state.

          2)States that migratory beekeepers have provided a critical 
            service to the United States (US) and California economy by 
            pollinating a wide variety of crops. 

          3)States bees are the most economically valuable pollinator in 
            the US, adding over $15 billion in economic value to 
            agriculture each year.

          4)Declares that one in three bites of food we eat is dependent 
            on bees pollination.

          5)States that California produces more than half of the world's 
            almonds and from 1.3 million to 1.5 million bee colonies are 
            rented for almond production.

          6)States that in 2006, bees in the US started disappearing in 
            large numbers and was labeled colony collapse disorder (CCD). 

          7)Declares that many interacting causes, such as pathogens, 
            habitat loss and pesticides, are likely contributors to CCD.

          8)Declares there are multiple factors that contribute to CCD, 
            including pathogens, habitat loss and pesticides.

          9)States immune system damage is a critical factor that may be 
            the cause of CCD.

          10)Declares since 2006, commercial beekeepers report annual 








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            losses double normal numbers.

          11)States bees are a keystone indicator species and their 
            decline suggests broader environmental degradation, and, that 
            a majority of biologists believes that bee population decline 
            and impact on biodiversity is a greater threat then global 
            warming.

          12)States USEPA has identified neonicotinoids pesticides as 
            being highly toxic to bees.

          13)States that Bauer CropsScience announced the removal of 
            almonds from the crops that imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid) 
            products may be used on, due to its impact on bees.

          14)States that both USEPA and DPR are tasked with evaluating 
            pesticide threats to pollinators before pesticides are 
            marketed in California, but both agencies rely on industry 
            studies and fail to adequately study pesticide problems as 
            they arise in the field. 

          15)Declares that several European countries have taken action to 
            protect pollinators and the State of New York has banned the 
            use of neonicotinoid products in order to protect bees. 

          16)Resolves that the California Legislature urges USEPA and DPR 
            to act quickly to protect bees by banning neonicotinoid 
            products that harm pollinators.

          17)Resolves that the California Legislature urges USEPA and DPR 
            to create a timeline and action plan to address pesticides, 
            chiefly neonicotinoids, which pose harm to pollinators.

          18)Resolves that the California Legislature urges DPR and the 
            California department of Food and Agriculture to promote 
            healthy environments for all pollinators through existing and 
            new funding sources. 

          19)Directs the Clerk of the Assembly to send copies of this 
            resolution to the Governor, Secretary of the Senate and the 
            author for distribution.

           EXISTING LAW  authorizes the Director of DPR to prescribe the 
          conditions under which pesticides may be used, as specified.









                                                                  AJR 29
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           FISCAL EFFECT  :  None

           COMMENTS  :  Bee pollination is responsible for $15 to $20 billion 
          in added crop value, particularly for specialty crops such as 
          almonds and other nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables.  About 
          one mouthful in three in our diet, directly or indirectly, 
          benefits from honey bee pollination.  While there are native 
          pollinators, honey bees are more prolific and the easiest to 
          manage for the large scale pollination that US agriculture 
          requires.  In California, the almond crop uses approximately 1.3 
          million colonies of bees, roughly half of all honey bees in the 
          US.

          The number of managed honey bee colonies has dropped from five 
          million in the 1940s to only 2.5 million today.  At the same 
          time, the need for hives to supply pollination service has 
          risen.  Bee colonies are trucked farther and more often than in 
          the past.

          Bee colony health has been declining since the 1980s.  The 
          spread into the US of varroa and tracheal mites, in particular, 
          created major new stresses on honey bees.  Other stressors 
          include habitat loss, lack of genetic diversity and pesticides. 

          Beginning in October 2006, some beekeepers began reporting 
          losses of 30-90% of their hives. While colony losses are not 
          unexpected during winter weather, the magnitude of loss suffered 
          by some beekeepers was highly unusual.  This phenomenon has been 
          termed CCD.  The main symptom of CCD is a hive that includes all 
          of the following: 1) No, or a low number, of adult honey bees 
          present in the hive, and, 2) A live queen in the hive, and, 3) 
          No dead honey bees in the hive. Often there is still honey in 
          the hive and immature bees are present.

          Supporters point to several recent studies that link a class of 
          systemic pesticides, neonicotinoid, to weakening bee's immune 
          systems.  Supporters, while recognizing that pesticides are not 
          the only factor acting as a stressor on bees, state that the 
          recent studies indicate that neonicotinoid are shown to be a 
          critical impact on bee health and contribute to CCD.  

          Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides 
          chemically related to nicotine.  The neonicotinoids were 
          developed because they show reduced toxicity compared to 
          previously used organophosphate and carbamate insecticides.  








                                                                  AJR 29
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          Most neonicotinoids show much lower toxicity in mammals than 
          insects.  Neonicotinoids are the first new class of insecticides 
          introduced in the last 50 years, and the neonicotinoid 
          imidacloprid is currently one of the most widely used 
          insecticides in the world. 

          Supporters, in a review of current studies on bee health, state 
          the sub-lethal exposure of neonicotinoids to bees is a cause for 
          concern. While many neonicotinoids are classified as acutely 
          toxic to bees, single high-dose exposures are less common than 
          sub-lethal exposures faced by bees as they forage.  Supporters 
          state it is this sub-lethal exposure that can cause altered 
          behavior and undermine immunity in bees.

          Opponents state that with USEPA scheduled to review all uses of 
          neonicotinoid starting this year, it is premature to suggest 
          banning the use of neonicotinoid in all situations.  
          Furthermore, in 2009, DPR began a reevaluation of pesticide 
          products containing neonicotinoids.  The reevaluation process is 
          still ongoing with local field data being collected and has yet 
          to be fully reviewed by DPR, and as such, the process has not 
          been completed.  Opponents suggest that promoting more 
          scientific review and supporting the ongoing review of 
          neonicotinoid by USEPA and DPR is a better way of examining this 
          issue.

          Both citrus and winegrape growers have expressed concerns about 
          a complete ban of neonicotinoid. These growers use neonicotinoid 
          to combat pests, such as the asian citrus psyllid and the glassy 
          winged sharpshooter, that has a significant impact on citrus 
          crops and winegrapes, respectively.  Without the use of 
          neonicotinoid, these growers are concerned that the control of 
          these and other pests will requires less sensitive chemicals.  

          There are several technical and clarifying amendments the 
          committee may wish to consider:

          1)Page 2, line 4 and 5, strike   WHEREAS, In 2006, honeybees in 
            the United States began disappearing in large numbers, a term 
            coined   and replace with  Each year since 2006, commercial 
            beekeepers have reported annual losses of 26-36%, more than 
            double what is considered normal. This phenomenon has been 
            termed 

           2)Page 2, strike lines 12 thru 14.








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          3)Page 2, line 39-40, after the words "New York" strike   has 
            already banned neonicotinoid products   and replace with  has 
            declined to register some neonicotinoid products  .

          As stated in this resolution, imidacloprid has been withdrawn 
          for use with almonds in California. According to supporters, 
          "Bayer's call to halt imidacloprid's use on almonds was prompted 
          by concern from California's Department of Pesticide Regulation 
          (DPR). In 2009, the agency observed two serious problems with 
          Bayer's product." With the removal of imidacloprid use in 
          California for almonds, the leading user of commercial bees, the 
          committee may wish to consider the following two issues:

          1)With DPR's ongoing reevaluation of neonicotinoids, it appears 
            California's regulatory process, in this instance, is working 
            well and adequately addressing issues related to this 
            pesticide. If this is the case the committee may wish to 
            consider an amendment to delete page 2, lines 34 thru 36 as 
            follows:   However, these agencies have relied on industry 
            studies and failed to adequately study problems with 
            pesticides as they arise in the field   .

          2)Furthermore, as almost half the commercial bee hives in the US 
            are used to pollinate California almond crops, one of the key 
            purposes for this resolution, protecting bee health, is being 
            addressed positively by current regulatory process.  Is it 
            necessary for California to call for the wholesale ban of 
            neonicotinoid or allow DPR's regulatory process to proceed?  
            The committee may wish to consider the following amendments:

             a)   Page 3, line 3, after the words "expeditiously to", 
               insert  complete the reevaluation of neonicotinoids a timely 
               manner and develop practices that  ;   

             b)   Page 3, lines 4-5, after the word "honeybees", strike  by 
               prohibiting the use, marketing, or sale of neonicotinoid 
               products deemed hazardous to pollinators.  ; and,

             c)   Page 3, lines 2-5, after the word "EPA", strike   and the 
               CDPR to create a clear timeline and plan of action for 
               addressing pesticides that pose harm to pollinators, 
               especially neonicotinoids;   and replace with  continue with 
               its risk assessment review process regarding honey bee 
               health to ensure these important pollinators remain a 








                                                                 AJR 29
                                                                  Page  6

               viable part of our eco-system and follow California's lead 
               in reevaluating neonicotinoids;  

           RELATED LEGISLATION  :

          SJR 49 (Ortiz) Res. Chapter 137, Statutes of 2002, memorialized 
          the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
          (CDC), members of Congress, the U.S. Secretary for Health and 
          Human Services and the President to seek release to the state 
          Department of Health Services of California-specific data from 
          the 1999 and the 2002 CDC's "National Report on Human Exposure 
          to Environmental Chemicals."

          ACR 117 (Laird) of 2008 would have memorialized CDFA, DPR, the 
          Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and any other 
          applicable state departments and agencies involved in the light 
          brown apple moth (LBAM) eradication effort, of the need to 
          address the unresolved health, scientific, and efficacy issues 
          concerning the 2007 LBAM eradication effort.  This resolution 
          was held in the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

          HR 23 (Monning) of 2010 requested that USEPA acts to protect 
          public health and the environment by requiring the disclosure of 
          inert ingredients in pesticide products. This resolution was 
          adopted by the Assembly.

          SR 35 (Leno) of 2010 urged the Governor to: 1) request USEPA to 
          require identification of hazardous inert ingredients as soon as 
          possible, ultimately leading to the disclosure of all inert 
          ingredients, the disclosure of a particular ingredient that 
          would not cause competitive harm, and 2) continue to support the 
          public's right to know every ingredient in pesticide products.  
          This resolution was adopted by the Senate.

           
          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          California State Grange
          Community Alliance with Family Farmers
          Cornucopia Institute
          EcoFarm
          Organic Consumers Fund
          Pesticide Action Network, North America








                                                                 AJR 29
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           Opposition 
           
          Agricultural Council of California 
          Almond Hullers and Processors 
          American Pistachio Growers Association 
          California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers 
          California Pear Growers Association 
          California Seed Association 
          California State Floral Association 
          California Association of Pest Control Advisors 
          California Association of Winegrape Growers 
          California Chamber of Commerce 
          California Citrus Mutual 
          California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations 
          California Cut Flower Commission 
          California Farm Bureau Federation 
          California Grape & Tree Fruit League 
          California Rice Commission 
          California Tomato Growers Association 
          California Women for Agriculture 
          Family Winemakers of California 
          Nisei Farmers League
          Western Agricultural Processors Association 
          Western Growers Association 
          Western Plant Health Association 
          Wine Institute 

           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Victor Francovich / AGRI. / (916) 
          319-2084