In Executive Order 16-07, Governor Mark Dayton limits the use of nicotine-based pesticides known as neonicotinoids for commercial use. The order directs the Environmental Quality Board, the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), and the Commissioner of Agriculture to complete specific actions related to curtailing the decline of pollinators in Minnesota. Dayton also ordered state agencies to create and protect pollinator habitat on land they manage, and stop using neonicotinoids on state-managed lands.
This group was created following a two-year review of 300 scientific studies; some recent research has shown that neonicotinoid insecticides harm bees. Some environmentalists praised the governor for this step, while some farm groups are worried about the financial impact on farmers. "Some of these are bold recommendations that have not been considered by any other state across the nation," Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson said at a Minnesota State Fair news conference.