MPH Student Glory Owe Wins Second Place at APHA Poster Session for Evaluation of Maryland State Law on Sale of Neonicotinoids
November 26, 2019

Glory Owe, a biostatistics masters student, won second place in the Environment Section of the Student Poster Session at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting last month.

Owe evaluated the implementation of a new Maryland state law limiting the sale of neonicotinoid, a type of insecticide, alongside her advisor Devon Payne-Sturges, an assistant professor of applied environmental health. 

Owe completed the research as an undergraduate at the School of Public Health. 

Owe and Sturges visited over 50 large home and garden stores, small independent hardware stores and nurseries all across Maryland to find which stores complied with the ban, implemented in January with the Maryland Pollinator Protection Act (MPPA).

The goal of the research was to evaluate compliance within the first year of the law’s implementation since neonicotinoids are a growing cause of concern and could have toxic effects on humans and pollinators. 

Owes and Sturges found that 25 percent of the 52 stores still had neonicotinoid products and that smaller, independent stores were less likely to comply with the ban than larger retail chain stores. They concluded that the MPPA is effective in reducing neonicotinoids, but that the Department of Agriculture will need to conduct targeted outreach for the smaller, independent stores. 

“When a policy is implemented, how do you make sure that it has an impact?” Owe asked. “Public health helps to make sure that policies are working.” 

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Devon C. Payne-Sturges