Days after Maryland state legislators introduced a bill aimed at protecting pollinators by restricting the use of neonicotinoid insecticides in residential areas, a group of representatives of Bayer, Syngenta, CropLife America, Maryland Farm Bureau, and the Maryland Department of Agriculture planned and executed a counter-offensive. Emails obtained by U.S. Right to Know show the strategies they used over the next two and a half years.
The emails are a rare window into the pesticide industry’s playbook for trying to keep a group of controversial pesticides on the American market. The industry group touted pesticide industry efforts to protect pollinators, collaborated closely with the Maryland Department of Agriculture, and tried to recruit a bee expert to testify on their behalf, among other efforts to defeat the bills.