Study: Neurotoxic Pesticides Causing Catastrophic Decline of Bees, Butterflies, and Other Species

250px-Charaxes_brutus_natalensis220px-Apis_mellifera_TanzaniaThere 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.

Source: Phys.Org

69 thoughts on “Study: Neurotoxic Pesticides Causing Catastrophic Decline of Bees, Butterflies, and Other Species”

  1. My neighbor and I started our own butterfly gardens to attract them and help them thrive as many others in our area continue to pour on the pesticides. Another neighbor is a beekeeper and makes his own honey. We try to raise awareness but some people just don’t seem to care or understand the importance of protecting them.

  2. Darren, that is amazing. Thank you, that couldn’t have been easy. I had given up on them.

  3. RTC, up-thread I posted a link that points to a story about kidney failure and roundup. You do not sound concerned.

    If exposure to roundup, in food or otherwise, contaminates mother’s milk, do yo really need a study to know that Roundup is in honey? And if you know that roundup is in honey, would you still consume it?

    More than 100 years ago people were dropping dead after eating canned food. Tens of thousands of people died before there was enough consensus to blame lead, which was used to seal the cans. Canners only stopped using lead after consumers finally refused to buy poisoned food.

    Today, however, everyone knows the food supply is contaminated, but they keep on eating from it anyway. In this way, they are not unlike tobacco smokers, fully aware the substance they are addicted to will kill them.

    Roundup will remain in the food supply and in mother’s milk so long as complacent consumers continue to buy contaminated food. The government and food suppliers are damn sure not going to give up roundup voluntarily.

  4. samantha: I don’t know what you’re talking about…at all. The half life you’re referring to is essentially the storage life of the product. True, chemically glyphosate persists in the soil, but it binds so tightly to the soil that it’s virtually inert for all practical purposes. It certainly doesn’t affect plants in that state. You could go out into your backyard, scrape the ground down to bare mineral soil, spray it with Roundup, and immediately throw down some grass seed, water it in and it will grow. Someone would have to an idiot to use an herbicide that remained active in the soil for a generation.

    Glyphosate only works on plants that have emerged from the soil. To put in other words, it can only be absorbed by plant tissue that is above the soil line. Roots beneath the soil cannot absorb glyphosate because the soil particles hold on the chemical is too powerful. The plant absorbs the herbicide through the leaf tissue and transports it to the roots via the vascular system. Once it reaches the roots of the plant, glyphosate interferes with protein production and the plant dies. That takes about a week.

    Workers may reenter a treated area within 4 hours, general access is permissible after 48 hours, but as a licensed Illinois pesticide operator I post the area restrictions for 7 days. The beauty of glyphosate is that it breaks down relatively quickly compared to other herbicides.

    I don’t know what to say about the magnesium deal, I, um, uhh, I mean, it’s uhh, what can I say? As for the presence of glyphosate in breast milk, I think it’s more likely that women are ingesting along with the increasing amounts of corn and corn products, like corn syrup. That’s a separate issue I think.

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