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Old 10-07-2014, 11:49 AM   #1
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Default Pesticides affecting biodiversity

Found this through the facebook page of Xerces . Read or listen as it talks about more studies showing the long term effect of neonics.

CBC article to read
Bees, birds may suffer long-term consequences from common pesticides - Technology & Science - CBC News

Quirks and Quarks Radio Show
Home | Quirks & Quarks with Bob McDonald | CBC Radio

Podcast "The Birds and The Bees and The Pesticides"
Audio | Quirks & Quarks with Bob McDonald | CBC Radio


Quote:
Through a four-week study on bumblebees, Nigel Raine, an expert in pollinator conservation at the University of Guelph, found that the neonicotinoids, which are neurotoxins, affect bumblebees’ ability to find and collect food.
Christy Morrissey, an ecotoxicologist at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, found last year that 90 per cent of prairie potholes were laced with small amounts of neonics in the spring before farmers planted their fields. That means the chemicals stay in the soil and then wash into the water through rain or snow.
Now, Dr. Morrissey is in the midst of a study in the field studying exactly how different levels of neonics affect aquatic insects in prairie potholes, in tandem with a long-term study examining the health of tree swallows nearby.
Quote:
A Dutch study by Caspar Hallmann ​at the Institute for Water and Wetland Research at Radboud University in the Netherlands,​ and others published this summer found larger annual declines in insect-eating birds in areas with higher surface-water concentrations of the most popular type of neonic, imidacloprid.


It concluded that the impact of the chemical is “reminiscent of the effects of persistent insecticides in the past.”
Quote:
(“And so the studies that have been conducted on these products in field conditions show that at those concentrations, there is no risk for aquatic insects or other wildlife,” he said.)

Dr. Morrissey told Quirks & Quarks, however, that the industry is relying on studies conducted on the water flea, Daphnia magna, an aquatic crustacean.


While it is the industry standard for testing, it happens to be almost uniquely insensitive to neonics. Compared to other insects tested, it is an average of 1,000 times less sensitive, and compared to the aquatic insects birds like to eat, it is between 10,000 and 100,000 times less sensitive, she said.


In Canada, all canola and corn seeds planted are coated, as well as half of soybeans and some seeds of other crops. They are systemic pesticides, which means they infuse every cell of the plant as it grows, right from the roots to the leaves, seeds, nectar and pollen.

And they are used as a prophylactic, whether there is a pest infestation or not.
Quote:
An analysis of 800 studies released this summer, called the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, concluded that the chemicals, including neonics, are having widespread effects on ecosystems around the world beyond their intended function of killing crop pests.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:03 PM   #2
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The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides

Worldwide Integrated Assessment | The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides

Worldwide Integrated Assessment

Quote:
The Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Impact of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems (WIA) has examined over 800 scientific studies spanning the last five years, including industry sponsored ones. It is the single most comprehensive study of neonics ever undertaken, is peer reviewed, and published as free access so that the findings and the source material can be thoroughly examined by others.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:25 PM   #3
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Dave Goulson is Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex. He is author of the bestselling A Sting in the Tale and A Buzz in the Meadow, the latter describing the neonicotinoid controversy.




The blog of David Goulson : University of Sussex - SPLASH.



Quote:
Response to article by Matt Ridley in the Times, 6 October. Note that the Times refused to publish a (shorter) response that I sent to them:
Quote:
I’m one of the scientists who have been conducting this (what was called ) “no good” science, so you might not be surprised to hear that I have a rather different view of the situation. The EU decision was taken only after a team of scientists at the European Food Standard’s Agency had spent 6 months reviewing all the scientific evidence. They concluded that neonics pose an “unacceptable risk” to bees, and hence a majority of EU counties voted for the moratorium. The UK’s Environmental Audit Committee, a cross-party group of MPs, came to the same conclusion, and urged our government to support the ban. The US Fish & Wildlife Service also concurred, and have banned use of all neonics on land they administer. Most recently, a team of 30 scientists, of which I was one, reviewed 800 papers on this topic and in a series of 8 articles published in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research, concluded that “The combination of prophylactic use, persistence, mobility, systemic properties and chronic toxicity [of neonicotinoids] is predicted to result in substantial impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning”.

Quote:
when eventually official figures emerged, the yield was down just 5%. Two days ago Defra revealed official figures on the extent of the damage in the UK – 1.35% of the crop has been lost (HGCA : CSFB crop losses estimated at 2.7% in HGCA-funded ?snapshot assessment?). Note that some crops are lost every year, with or without neonics. So why would a senior politician (Matt Ridley is a tory Lord and brother-in-law to Owen Paterson) and VP of the NFU want to grossly exaggerate the damage, and hence by implication suggest that farmers cannot grow crops without neonics? This is not in the farmer’s best interests, or that of the environment, or that of consumers. One might be forgiven for wondering if they weren’t actually working for the agrochemical industry.
Quote:
Finally, will bees suffer if farmers grow less oilseed rape because of the moratorium, as Ridley asserts? I doubt it. Bees need a steady supply of food through the year, not a four week spring glut followed by famine because there are few wildflowers. In any case, if you were offered a feast of food laced with a neurotoxin, or a more modest meal of unpoisoned food, which would you opt for? In a sense, that is the choice that we all face right now.
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