The Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center
Ruscombe, Inc. 4801 Yellowwood Ave. Baltimore MD 21209
Submitted to: The House Environment and Transportation Committee
Honorable Delegates of the Environment and Transportation Committee,
The Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center is one of the oldest holistic healing centers in the country, serving thousands of patients each year. Healthcare practitioners and their patients at the Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center are concerned with the growing and widespread use of toxic neonicotinoid pesticides (also referred to as neonics). This class of pesticide has been found to be harmful to managed honey bee hives, wild native bees, birds, and humans health— We respectfully urge you to support HB 211 Neonicotinoid Pesticide – Labeling Requirement (Pollinator Protection Act of 2016) to label nursery plants treated with toxic, bee-killing pesticides and restrict the non-essential, cosmetic use of products containing neonics by consumers.
We are alarmed about increasing losses of bee hives—61% in our state—and new research that is finding that wild bees are suffering similar losses in their populations when exposed to neonics. Our pollinators are crucial to our food supply—a loss in pollinators means less food yields, higher food prices, poorer nutrition for people, especially those of lower income, and this translates to more health problems.
Neonics also pose a risk to human health. The European Food Safety Authority says some neonicotinoids may affect the developing human nervous system by affecting functions such as learning and memory and proposes that “some guidance levels for acceptable exposure to those neonicotinoids be lowered while further research is carried out to provide more reliable data on so-called developmental neurotoxicity.”
The National Resources Defense Council recently hired a company to use the well-respected GreenScreen review system to evaluate the human health hazards of neonics. The review identified potential hazards for the following human health endpoints: cancer, reproductive harm, developmental harm and potential endocrine disruption. As a result, NRDC and other organizations asked the NIEHS Office of Health Assessment and Translation to conduct hazard assessments of these pesticides.
Neonics are just one class of pesticides. In general, a growing body of research links pesticide exposure to asthma, autism, ADHD, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, birth defects, fertility problems and more. Pesticides are particularly dangerous for children. Research links pesticides to adverse health impacts on children’s neurological, respiratory, immune and endocrine systems – even at low exposure levels. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends minimizing children’s pesticide exposure.
We need to inform Marylanders about the risks from these pesticides and limit their indiscriminate use. By protecting our pollinators we will ensure a safe and plentiful food supply. We will also protect wildlife and human health by reducing the non-essential widespread use of these toxic pesticides.
The Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center urges Maryland legislators to lead our nation in protecting our future food supply, our pollinators and our health from adverse effects of toxic neonicotinoid pesticides. Please lend your support to HB 211 so that plants treated with these pesticides are labeled and the promiscuous consumer use of these pesticides is restricted.
Dr. Zohara Meyerhoff Hieronimus, DHL (Founder, Executive Director)
Ruscombe Mansion Community Health Center
4801 Yellowwood Ave.
Baltimore, Md 21209
Want to help save Maryland’s bees?
Call: (410) 841-3990, (301) 858-3990; 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3990 (toll free)
Fax: (410) 841-3509, (301) 858-3509
Or write to:
House Office Building, Room 251
6 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD 21401