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Thread: Insect 'apocalypse' in U.S. driven by 50x increase in toxic pesticides

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    Default Insect 'apocalypse' in U.S. driven by 50x increase in toxic pesticides

    STEPHEN LEAHY
    AUGUST 6, 2019

    Bees, butterflies, and other insects are under attack by the very plants they feed on as U.S. agriculture continues to use chemicals known to kill.

    America’s agricultural landscape is now 48 times more toxic to honeybees, and likely other insects, than it was 25 years ago, almost entirely due to widespread use of so-called neonicotinoid pesticides, according to a new study published today in the journal PLOS One.
    This enormous rise in toxicity matches the sharp declines in bees, butterflies, and other pollinators as well as birds, says co-author Kendra Klein, senior staff scientist at Friends of the Earth US.
    “This is the second Silent Spring. Neonics are like a new DDT, except they are a thousand times more toxic to bees than DDT was,” Klein says in an interview.

    Keep reading: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/e...q3xpkmtteMhF9s

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Insect 'apocalypse' in U.S. driven by 50x increase in toxic pesticides

    Neonicotinoids, or Neonics, were marketed in 1994. Bayer-Monsanto makes 2 of the 3 most toxic neonics, and Syngenta-Chem China makes the third one. Why did it take 25 years before the U.S. took steps to eliminate these chemicals. In May 2019, the USDA finally withdrew a dozen neonic-based chemicals from the market. Neonics are used primarily to coat the seeds of crops and plants, even the seeds of everyday home garden ornamental plants. Fortunately, Home Depot and Lowe's, which account for most home garden plant sales, have taken actions to eliminate use. Currently, most scientists have concluded--for now--that neonics, while devastating for insects, is no more harmful to humans than caffeine or wine. This is because neonics dissolve in water and most of it remains in the soil and environment and not in the crops eaten by humans. The vast majority of neonics is used to treat soy and cotton seeds.

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