There is new research showing that neurotoxic pesticides are not just responsible for the catastrophic decline in the world’s bee collapse but are also devastating the world’s population of butterflies, worms, fish and birds. The four-year assessment was carried out by The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, which advises the International Union for Conservation of Nature has found that neonics are “imperilling the pollinators, habitat engineers and natural pest controllers at the heart of a functioning ecosystem.” It is simply beyond belief that these pesticides have caused such worldwide damage but, due to the powerful pesticide and agribusiness lobby, there has been no serious regulation to curtail the use of these products.
As we have previously discussed, the loss of the honey bees has been not just devastating for the ecosystem but also many businesses that use honey as a sweetener. Yet, many large agribusiness operations love the neonics which are very effective against pest and increases crop yield but they also impair smell and memory in some species, curb procreation, reduce foraging, cause flight difficulties and increase disease susceptibility in other species. They then leach into the soil and have entered our water system.
Like climate change, politicians have continued to question the science and delay any action at the behest of this powerful business interests. The result is a building disaster. Clearly there was a long debate over the cause for the bee die-off but that question appears to have been answered conclusively. The question is whether this and other studies will trigger action before further damage is done to our environment. The only hope is that there are actually businesses who are losing money on the loss of honey bees — a rather sad statement about our commitment to the environment.