An advocacy group in New Jersey is standing up to Amazon, claiming the retail giant is two-faced, selling items that both promote and go against the same cause.

As part of a fundraising campaign to strengthen operations in 2023, Environment New Jersey is calling on Amazon to remove bee-killing pesticides from its digital shelves.

The mega-retailer features no shortage of "Save the Bees" shirts and hats for sale, the group notes, and on the very same platform, offers varieties of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides (aka neonics).

Neonics poison bees' central nervous systems; as many as one in four bee species are imperiled, advocates say.

"The products that we use in our gardens shouldn't literally kill the bees that pollinate our gardens, and unfortunately, we've seen a massive die-off of bee species around the country," said Doug O'Malley, director of Environment New Jersey.

Over recent years, research has pointed to neonics as a leading cause of the disappearance of bees. In a 2020 report from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, it was noted that the class of chemicals was detected in more than half of the hundreds of surface water samples analyzed.

"We need our corporate citizens, especially Amazon, the largest retailer in America, to take action," O'Malley said

As of Thursday evening, Amazon had not responded to New Jersey 101.5's request for comment.

Retailers such as The Home Depot and Lowe's have made moves to remove neonicotinoids from their offerings.

In early 2022, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation that severely restricts neonicotinoid sales and usage in the Garden State, still allowing for agricultural purposes conducted by licensed applicators.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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