Many Mainers have grown up with the coastline as a permanent fixture in everyday life. Whether it be the gentle shifting of a lobsterman’s boat while he strings bait into his traps or watching a seal sun himself atop the waves of the ocean, and the life she cares for is precious.

Since the mid-1990s, neonicotinoids have become all too prevalent in today’s agricultural practices. Now the most commonly used pesticides in the world, these seven chemicals have been leaking into our oceans and animals unbeknownst to many. Many farmers are unaware they purchased the poison, since it was applied to seeds long before they reach the fields.

Once the seed is no longer a seed, but a fully grown plant, only 5 percent of the chemical makes its home in the cells of the plant, researchers have found. The other 95 percent disperses into the wider environment, turning into a poison that kills everything from bees to birds to marine life.

This is not simply a matter to be written off as the ramblings of a left-wing liberal. This is a matter that stretches beyond politics and into the simple realms of survival. If these pesticides are allowed to continue devouring our beloved Maine wildlife, we will lose the bees, which pollinate a third of the food we eat, and the rest of our fragile ecosystem.

Elizabeth McAleney

Portland


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