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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Thiamethoxam' Category


11
Aug

Vermont Law School Becomes First BEE Protective Campus!

(Beyond Pesticides, August 11, 2014) Vermont Law School announced Friday that its campus is going neonicotinoid pesticide-free, making it the first higher-education campus in the country to earn official recognition from the  BEE Protective Campaign, led by Beyond Pesticides and Center for Food Safety. The university joins an expanding list of communities across the country to take action to protect pollinators in the absence of federal regulation, including Eugene, OR,   Spokane, WA, and most recently, Shorewood, Minnesota. “We are very pleased that Vermont Law School has taken the lead on going neonic-free, and hope other universities and communities will follow suit,” said Nichelle Harriott, Senior Staff Scientist at Beyond Pesticides. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. These systemic pesticides, which  move through the plant’s vascular system and express themselves through pollen and nectar,  include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. A growing body of science has implicated neonicotinoids, which are applied to or  incorporated into seeds for agricultural, ornamental  and garden plants, as a key factor in recent global bee die-offs. Beekeepers across the country reported losses […]

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25
Jul

Midwest Waterways Contaminated with Persistent Neonicotinoid Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, July 25, 2014) A new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study published yesterday found neonicotinoid pesticides persistent and prevalent in streams throughout the Midwestern United States. The study is the first to investigate the presence of neonicotinoids on a wide-scale level in the Midwest. While neonicotinoid use has increased throughout the country, the Midwest in particular has seen a dramatic increase over the last decade. The use of clothianidin, one of the chemicals studied, on corn in Iowa alone has approximately doubled in just two years, from 2011 and 2013. Neonicotinoids are chemically similar to nicotine and are pesticides that are toxic to a broad range of insect pests. They are also known as systemic pesticides, which are pesticides that spread throughout the entire plant structure, making everything from roots to pollen toxic to organisms that come in contact with it. As a result, neonicotinoids have been linked to the global disappearance of honey bees and other nontarget organisms, such as earthworms, birds, and aquatic invertebrates. USGS scientist Kathryn Kuivila, Ph.D., stated, “Neonicotinoid insecticides are receiving increased attention by scientists as we explore the possible links between pesticides, nutrition, infectious disease, and other stress factors in the environment possibly […]

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23
Jul

New Zealand To Increase Scrutiny of Bee-killing Pesticides, Denies “Neonic” Application

(Beyond Pesticides, July 23, 2014) New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Authority is stepping up its requirements for a higher level of scientific evidence regarding the safety and effects of neonicotinoids -pesticides linked to bee decline- before considering them for approval. Just last month, the Authority declined an application of thiamethoxam, a neonicotinoid, for use as a seed treatment, citing risks to bees. The decision follows a recent worldwide integrated assessment of research into systemic pesticides that concludes that neonicotinoid insecticides pose a serious risk to birds, honey bees and other pollinators, and a wide range of invertebrates, including earthworms. The international analysis of 800 peer-reviewed scientific reports confirms concerns of beekeepers and environmental groups throughout the world that long-term exposure to systemic pesticides at low, sublethal levels could be harmful to bees and a factor in declining bee populations. While it is unclear what these new stringent requirements are, the Authority, which works with New Zealand’s Beekeepers Association on the issue, already confirmed specific restrictions to products containing neonicotinoids to minimize the risk to insect pollinators. These restrictions include the prohibition of the use of neonicotinoids in areas where bees are foraging, or on plants and trees while they are in […]

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25
Jun

Scientists Call for Global Action with Release of “Worldwide Assessment” of Bee-Harming Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 25, 2014) Following last week’s celebration of “National Pollinator Week” and a presidential memorandum mandating federal action on bees, the first wide-scale scientific analysis has been released that links  two classes of pesticides  to declining bee populations. Twenty-nine scientists representing many disciplines reviewed over 800 peer-reviewed publications  on the impacts of systemic pesticides, and are recommending  more restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides. This report is the single most comprehensive study of  neonicotinoids ever  undertaken. The “Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA)” ”” undertaken by the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides ”” documents significant harms to bees and ecosystems. While some aspects of this report have been broadly acknowledged  before (e.g. risks to honey bees), some, including risks to earthworms, birds and aquatic invertebrates, have not. The analysis focuses not only on impacts to particular  organisms and habitats, but also on  biodiversity and ecosystem impacts, taking a holistic view of pesticide effects. The scientists are calling for new, dramatic restrictions on bee-harming pesticides in the United States and beyond. The report  finds that the current regulatory system has failed to consider the full  range of pesticide effects. “This report should be a final wake up call for American regulators who have […]

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19
Jun

First Colorado “Bee Safe” Neighborhood Established

(Beyond Pesticides, June 18, 2014) Just in time for Pollinator Week, the Melody-Catalpa neighborhood of Boulder has become the first “bee-safe” locality in Colorado that has pledged to not use neonicotinoids and other systemic pesticides in the community, in an effort to protect bees and other pollinators, and provide safe forage and habitat. Melody-Catalpa joins other small communities across the country in taking a stand against bee decline by committing to not use pesticides toxic to bees and other pollinators. The small community north of Boulder signed a pledge not to use neonicotinoids and similar systemic pesticides, and is buzzing with excitement over earning the distinction. This past spring, the City of Eugene, Oregon became the first community in the nation to specifically ban from city property the use of  neonicotinoid pesticides, citing recent research demonstrating a link between pesticides that contain neonicotinoids and the loss of plant pollinators, including honey bees, native bees, butterflies, moths, and other beneficial  insects. Melody-Catalpa’s grassroots action began earlier this year when three neighborhood residents banded together to sign on about 20 volunteers to go door to door to get more than half of the area’s 389 households to sign a pledge not to […]

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17
Jun

Beyond Pesticides Releases Pollinator-Friendly Seed Directory for Pollinator Week

(Beyond Pesticides, June 17, 2014) Given that plant starts in many garden centers across the country are grown from seeds coated with bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides, or drenched with them, Beyond Pesticides has launched the Pollinator-Friendly Seed Directory, a comprehensive list of companies that sell organic seeds to the general public. Included in this directory are seeds for vegetables, flowers, and herbs. As bees suffer serious declines in their populations, we urge people and communities to plant habitat that supports pollinator populations, and have provided information to facilitate this in our BEE Protective Habitat Guide, as well as our how-to guide on managing landscapes with pollinators in mind. Unfortunately, plants are too often grown with hazardous pesticides that either harm pollinators in their cultivation or threaten bees as they pollinate or forage on treated plants. Last summer, a groundbreaking report revealed that many bee-friendly garden plants sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s contain neonicotinoid pesticides with no warning to consumers. Neonicotinoid residues were detected in seven out of thirteen samples (54 percent) of commercial nursery plants. In response to this report, Beyond Pesticides, along with Friends of the Earth and other allies, launched a campaign to tell major retailers to stop […]

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04
Jun

Ontario County, Canada, Takes Stand Against Pesticides Linked to Bee Decline

(Beyond Pesticides, June 4, 2014)  A county in southern Ontario has become the first Canadian municipality, according to reports,  to temporarily ban a controversial class of insecticides linked to be bee deaths in Canada and around the world. Last week, officials in Prince Edward County passed a motion prohibiting the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on municipal lands, effective immediately. The rural county, nestled in the heart of Ontario’s agricultural heartland, also wants the federal and provincial government to “declare a moratorium surrounding the use of neonicotinoid crop treatments, as soon as possible, pending further study.” The motion requires letters to be sent to several federal and provincial ministers —including the Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, and Health Minister Rona Ambrose— outlining the county’s position. Mounting science has documented the neonicotinoid class of pesticides  as a major factor in bee decline. Neonicotinoids have been shown, even a low levels, to impair foraging, navigational and learning behavior in bees, as well as suppress their immune system to point of making them susceptible to pathogens and disease. Read: No Longer a Big Mystery. These chemicals are also systemic, meaning they contaminate the entire plant, including pollen and nectar, leading to […]

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07
Jan

Oregon Legislation To Restrict Home Use of Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, January 7, 2014) An Oregon state representative, Rep. Jeff Reardon (D-Portland), plans to introduce legislation in February that will effectively ban for home and garden use  certain neonicotinoid pesticides implicated in mass bee deaths this  summer. This legislation is part of the growing national effort to ban or restrict the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Last year, the Save America’s Pollinators Act was introduced by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) to ban the use of neonicotinoids nationally. Rep. Reardon’s legislation would add neonicotinoid pesticides dinotefuran, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam to Oregon’s restricted pesticide use list. Under Oregon’s pesticide administrative rules,restricted use pesticides can only be applied by licensed pesticide applicators. Pesticide dealers are also required  to keep records of product sales of these pesticides and maintain sales records for at least three years. The legislation would also require the state to implement special training and testing to ensure licensed pesticide applicators know how to minimize risk to   pollinators. “These are dangerous chemicals. People who aren’t willing to take the time and effort to become fully educated should look for alternatives,” Rep. Reardon told The Oregonian. Though this legislation would limit the amount of neonicotinoid pesticides directly applied to lawns […]

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03
Dec

Start of EU Moratorium on Neonicotinoids Puts Focus on US EPA Inaction

(Beyond Pesticides, December 3, 2013) On Sunday, December 1, 2013 the European Union (EU) took critical steps to protect pollinators from the hazards associated with the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Despite attempts by agrichemical corporations, including Bayer, and Syngenta,   to delay or reverse the decision, the two-year, continent-wide ban on bee-harming pesticides has gone into effect. However, what’s happening on the other side of the Atlantic is part of a larger story that raises serious concerns for the future of our food. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the direction of Administrator Gina McCarthy, has put forth inadequate label changes that do not protect pollinators. With the support of   over 60 organizations, Beyond Pesticides has helped launch a coalition-based  national advertising campaign to raise awareness of pollinator declines and urge EPA to stop stalling by enacting substantive restrictions on the use of bee-harming pesticides. Go to save-bees.org to lend your support to these efforts. Neonicotinoids, a relatively new class of pesticides, are often used as a seed coating on agricultural crops. Studies have found that honey bees are exposed to high concentrations of neonicotioid pesticides through the dust that is kicked up when coated […]

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02
Dec

Broad Coalition Is Building Buzz on Pollinator Decline with National Ad Campaign

(Beyond Pesticides, December 2, 2013) Today, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network, supported by Ceres Trust and joined by more than 60 other organizations, launched a national media campaign to bring attention to the severity of pollinator declines due in part to the use of bee-harming pesticides. The campaign launch was timed to coincide with the beginning of the European Union’s two-year moratorium on three of the most potent neonicotinoids, which began yesterday. See the ad here. For action item related to this campaign, go to www.save-bees.org. For more on Beyond Pesticides’ BEE Protective campaign, go to www.BEEprotective.org. As part of the national media campaign, full page ads were released in seven newspapers today, including the New York Times, citing the urgency and impact of bee declines and encouraging the public to call on EPA to take action. “We hope this national media campaign will spur public action to combat this major threat to the environment and to our food system. We must protect bees and other pollinators from these harmful pesticides that EPA has so far failed to safeguard them from,” said Larissa Walker, policy and campaign coordinator for Center for Food Safety. Never before […]

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12
Nov

BASF Sues EU Commission for Restricting Pesticides Harmful to Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, November 12, 2013) On November 6 BASF, a German agrochemical company, took legal action in the General Court of the European Union (EU) to challenge the EU Commission’s decision to restrict seed treatment uses of the insecticide fipronil. BASF joins chemical companies Bayer and Syngenta in challenging the EU’s decision to restrict the use of certain pesticides that are harmful to pollinators. The EU Commission’s decision to restrict the use of fipronil in July came after the Commission’s landmark decision announcing a two-year continent-wide ban  on the neonicotinoid pesticides clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. The pesticides have been linked to the decline in bee populations.  Twenty-three European Union Member States supported the fipronil restriction, two Member States voted against, and three Member States abstained during the standing committee vote. BASF argued that its  legal action against the EU is based on a disproportionate application of the precautionary principle. However, overwhelming scientific evidence supports the position that fipronil is highly toxic to bees. Fipronil, a phenyl pyrazole broad-spectrum insecticide, was first introduced in the U.S. in 1996 for commercial turf and indoor pest control and is highly toxic to bees. A recent investigation reveals that fipronil is responsible for the […]

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17
Sep

Canada Declares Farm Use of Neonicotinoids “Unsustainable”

(Beyond Pesticides, September 17, 2013) Last Friday, Health Canada released new measures the agency claims are intended to protect bees from exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides. As with recent regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), beekeepers and environmental groups are criticizing the measures as inadequate, not going far enough to protect domesticated honey bees that both in Canada and the U.S.  have seen losses of over 30% each winter since 2006. Ontario beekeeper Dave Schuit told the CBC, “Basically I see it as a Band-Aid. [The Pest Management Regulatory Agency] should’ve done their study before they approved this pesticide.” Dave Schuit owns Saugeen Country Honey Inc., and reportedly lost 37 million bees last year — more than half of his over 2,000 hives — as a result of exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides. Health Canada’s proposal includes: Requiring the use of safer dust-reducing seed flow lubricants (most corn and soy seed is coated with neonicotinod pesticides before planting and then mixed with a lubricant like talc that creates a toxic  dust in seed planters); Requiring adherence to safer seed planting practices; Requiring new pesticide and seed package labels with enhanced warnings; and Requiring updated value information be provided to […]

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28
Aug

Syngenta Challenges EU Suspension on Neonicotinoids

(Beyond Pesticides, August 28, 2013) Industry giant, Syngenta, has filed a legal challenge to the European Union’s suspension of one of its insecticides, thiamethoxam, linked to the decline in bee populations that has been observed in Europe and the rest of the world. Thiamethoxam, a neonicotinoid and active ingredient in Syngenta’s Cruiser seed treatments, is widely used to treat seed and degrades into another neonicotinoid, clothianidin, also subject to a moratorium in the  European Union. Both chemicals are cited in a lawsuit seeking their suspension, which was brought by beekeepers and environmental groups in the U.S. Earlier this year, the European Commission made a landmark decision announcing a two-year continent-wide ban on the neonicotinoid pesticides: clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. The decision came in response to a scientific report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that identified “high acute risk” to honey bees from uses of the neonicotinoid chemicals. Thiamethoxam, as well as clothianidin, are routinely used to treat seeds, especially for major crops like corn. A  15 member states majority  supported the ban, with eight against, and four abstaining. However, in its press release, Syngenta claims that the European Commission made its  decision on the basis of a flawed […]

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19
Aug

EPA’s New Pesticide Label Inadequate for Honey Bee Protection

(Beyond Pesticides, August 19, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new pesticide label for honey bee protection, announced Thursday, has been widely criticized by beekeepers and environmentalists as offering inadequate protection in the face of devastating bee decline. Under the new guidelines, the label will prohibit the use of some neonicotinoid pesticides when bees are present, and includes a “bee advisory box” and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions. Critics question the efficacy of the label change in curtailing a systemic pesticide that contaminates nectar and pollen, poisoning bees indiscriminately, and the enforceability of the label language, which is geared to managed not wild bees. EPA has not formally acknowledged the peer-reviewed science linking neonicotinoid pesticides to colony collapse disorder and bee decline, as is the case with the European Union’s European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), where neonicotinoids are being phased out. Specifically, the new label applies to pesticide products containing the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid […]

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15
Aug

Garden Centers Sell Bee-Attractant Plants with Pesticide Residues Toxic to Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2013) Many “bee friendly” home garden plants sold at Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) and other leading garden centers have been treated with pesticides shown to harm and kill bees, according to a pilot study released yesterday by   Friends of the Earth-US, Beyond Pesticides,  and others.  Supporting organizations sent a  letter  yesterday —along with petitions signed by more than 175,000 people— to Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target and other top garden retailers, asking the stores to stop selling neonicotinoids and plants treated with the pesticides. A majority of the UK’s largest garden retailers, including Homebase, B&Q and Wickes, have already stopped selling neonicotinoids. The pilot study, co-authored by the Pesticide Research Institute, found that 7 of 13 samples of garden plants purchased at top retailers in Washington DC, the San Francisco Bay Area and Minneapolis contain neurotoxic pesticides known as neonicotinoids that studies show harm or kill bees and other pollinators. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. These systemic pesticides, which  move through the plant’s vascular system and express themselves through pollen […]

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18
Jul

EU Proposes More Pesticide Restrictions to Protect Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, July 18, 2013) A few months after the groundbreaking decision to suspend the use of three neonicotinoids shown to be highly toxic to bees, the European Commission is moving forward again with a proposal to restrict the use of the insecticide fipronil, which has also   been identified as posing an acute risk to honey bees. The proposal is backed by a Member State experts meeting in the Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health. This proposal follows a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)  scientific risk assessment, published on May 27, 2013, which found that seeds treated with pesticides containing fipronil pose an acute risk to Europe’s honey bee population. According to this assessment, it was found that fipronil poses a high acute risk to honeybees when used as a seed treatment for corn. Specifically, EFSA concluded that high acute risk from dust drift resulting from treated corn exists, and identified several data gaps and study limitations for other field crops. Data on nectar and pollen could not be evaluated. 23 Member States supported the fipronil restriction, 2 Member States voted against and 3 Member States abstained during the standing committee vote. This latest EU-wide restriction comes […]

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10
Jul

Beekeeping Industry Files Suit to Stop New Pesticide Toxic to Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, July 10, 2013) Several beekeeping organizations have filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) to reverse a recent decision to register a new  pesticide, sulfoxaflor, which is highly toxic to bees. The beekeepers are not satisfied that their submitted concerns were properly addressed by EPA before registration was granted. Sulfoxaflor is a sub-class of the neonicotinoid pesticides that have been linked to global bee declines. The suit is filed as the beekeeping industry across the country struggles for survival, and faces the costly effects of pesticides upon their businesses. The National Pollinator Defense Fund, American Honey Producers Association, National Honey Bee Advisory Board, the American Beekeeping Federation, and beekeepers Bret Adee, Jeff Anderson and Thomas R. Smith submitted the case in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting changes in the sulfoxaflor product label, the Biological Economic Assessment Division (BEAD) assessment of the value of pollinators and their established habits, and the EPA’s Risk Assessment Process. The requested changes would acknowledge pollinator’s critical role in the U.S. food supply, and ensure that decisions regarding new pesticides comply with applicable laws. Another legal challenge submitted in March 2013 by beekeepers, environmental and consumer groups, including Beyond […]

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03
Jul

Groups Appeal to President Obama to Suspend Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, July 3, 2013) In light of recent action in Europe to suspend to use of certain neonicotinoid pesticides, Beyond Pesticides joined 12 other environmental and advocacy organizations in urging the Obama administration to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow the European Union’s (EU) lead in recognizing that risks posed by these pesticides are unacceptably high, and suspend the use of these chemicals in the U.S. to protect pollinators and the nation’s agricultural economy. The letter urges the Obama administration to not only direct EPA to follow Europe’s lead in suspending certain neonicotinoid pesticides uses, but requests even more protective measures, including a minimum two-year suspension for all outdoor uses of neonicotinoid insecticides pending resolution of their hazards to bees and beneficial organisms. Highlighting the negative environmental and economic impacts of outdoor uses of the EPA-approved neonicotinoid insecticides: imidacloprid, clothianidin  , thiamethoxam, dinetofuran and acetamiprid, as well as a recognition that the initial risk assessments for these chemicals fail to adequately consider key risks to bee health, the letter to President Obama notes that it, “would not be responsible to continue to allow these threatening compounds to be used so broadly.” On average, U.S. beekeepers lost […]

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20
Jun

House Farm Bill Defeated After Adoption of Hastings Pollinator Amendment

Update 4:08 PM: Earlier today the House Farm Bill was defeated by a vote of 234 to 195. Many Democrats were moved to vote against the bill after several amendments were accepted yesterday that would make it more difficult for individuals to receive food stamp benefits. The House bill already included more than $20 billion dollars in cuts to food stamp programs over five years before the amendment process began. 62 Republicans also opposed the bill, arguing that bill did not go far enough in its cuts. This failure of the Farm Bill is an opportunity for environmental organizations to push for stronger legislation. Beyond Pesticides found several sections of the latest House Farm Bill to be particularly alarming. Section 10013 of the Farm Bill, commonly referred to as the “Reducing Regulatory Burden Act of 2013,” would have eliminated the requirement for pesticide applicators to file Clean Water Act (CWA) permits for application where pesticides could be discharged into water. Section 10014 would have limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate the importation of genetically engineered pesticide incorporated seeds. Beyond Pesticides would also like to   thank all those who stood with our organization and took action on […]

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18
Jun

New Study Exposes Range of Harm from Neonicotinoid Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 18, 2013) Neonicotinoid pesticides have broad ranging negative impacts not only on beneficial pollinators, but on overall biodiversity and ecosystem health, according to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The study, conducted by David Goulson, Ph.D, of the University of Sussex, provides a detailed overview of the current literature on the economic and environmental risks of neonicotinoid pesticides. Dr. Goulson’s work draws stark and disturbing conclusions about the environmental fate of these systemic insecticides. First introduced in the early 1990’s as an alternative to the acutely toxic organophosphate and carbamate classes of  pesticides, neonicotinoids are now the most widely used insecticides in the world. They can be broadly applied as a spray or soil drench, however, the ability of these chemicals to translocate into a plant as it grows has led to the creation of a large market within conventional agriculture for seeds coated with these pesticides. As Dr. Goulson notes, global acceptance of treated seeds has undermined the adoption of alternative methods of conventional pest control, even  integrated pest management (IPM), which can reduce pesticide reliance  through monitoring and biological, structural, and cultural strategies. Instead, the treated seed market pushes farmers toward […]

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10
Jun

Washington Ag Dept Rejects Petition to Curtail Bee-Killer Pesticide

(June 10, 2013, Beyond Pesticides) The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) on June 6 rejected a petition by Thurston County Commissioners to restrict sale, use and application of neonicotinoid insecticides. On April 8, 2013, the Commissioners requested the action by WSDA because of concerns about the effect of neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bee colony health. The Commissioners were acting on “substantial bee colony loss in 2012” reported by the Olympia Beekeepers Association. In its request, the Commissioners asked the state to implement a “restriction on the purchase, sale, distribution and application of the neonicotinoid class of insecticides for ornamental use to persons or entities with a valid WSDA pesticide applicator license” and indicated that “immediate action on a local level is appropriate and necessary.” Beyond Pesticides wrote a letter of support in favor of the petition. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. According to the EPA, uncertainties have been identified since their initial registration regarding the potential environmental fate and effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, particularly as they […]

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13
May

New Report Details Mounting Bee Losses

(Beyond Pesticides, May 13, 2013) According to preliminary results of a survey by the Bee Informed Partnership, 31.1 percent of managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. were lost during the 2012/2013 winter.   Though these preliminary loss reports are similar to the past six year average of 30.5 percent, the new loss numbers represent a 42 percent increase compared to the previous winter. Survey participants indicate that they consider a loss rate of 15 percent as “acceptable,” but 70 percent of participants suffered losses greater than this. With continued winter bee losses of over 30%, and concern whether there will be enough bees to pollinate U.S. crops this year, beekeepers and environmentalists say it is imperative  that regulators act by banning the neonicotiniod pesticides that have been implicated in the global decline of honey bee populations. In addition to this national report, several state level incidents of large scale honey bee colony losses have been reported. In a recent incident in Florida, citrus groves experienced an acute foliar poisoning that resulted in severely damaged colonies. Oranges had an early bloom this year, and were still blooming near the end of April. One beekeeper’s colonies suffered immense losses due to […]

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03
May

New Federal Report on Honey Bee Health

(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2013) Despite the groundbreaking decision in Europe earlier this week to protect honey bees by suspending the neonicotinoid pesticides shown to be highly toxic, the  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report yesterday which fails to address the overwhelming scientific evidence of neonicotinoid-related bee death and decline. The report presents no long-term, sustainable solutions to address the current bee crisis. Instead, the report recommends further research on the role of pesticides in honey bee health, further highlighting the stymied pace of U.S. regulatory efforts. The report follows on the National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health, which was led by federal researchers and managers and Pennsylvania State University in October 2012. Stakeholders at the conference included industry, federal officials, scientists, beekeepers, and activists who discussed several factors pertaining to adverse pollinator heath. Parasites, disease, genetics, poor nutrition, and pesticide exposure were highlighted at the meeting as synergistic factors in the observable nationwide honey bee decline. The report recommends further research on the impacts of pesticides on bees at the colony level in the field, but does not capture the science connecting pesticides to adverse effects or the need […]

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