Tag Archives: agrochemical

Insecticides are killing the honeybees

Is corporate profit worth wiping out honeybees?

Brian Wallheimer wrote in ScienceDaily 12 Jan 2012, Honeybee Deaths Linked to Seed Insecticide Exposure,

Analyses of bees found dead in and around hives from several apiaries over two years in Indiana showed the presence of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are commonly used to coat corn and soybean seeds before planting. The research showed that those insecticides were present at high concentrations in waste talc that is exhausted from farm machinery during planting.

The insecticides clothianidin and thiamethoxam were also consistently found at low levels in soil — up to two years after treated seed was planted — on nearby dandelion flowers and in corn pollen gathered by the bees, according to the findings released in the journal PLoS One this month.

“We know that these insecticides are highly toxic to bees; we found them in each sample of dead and dying bees,” said Christian Krupke, associate professor of entomology and a co-author of the findings.

The authors are careful to say they don’t claim to have found the only cause of honeybee deaths, because they can’t prove that. They do seem to have proved specific insecticides are one cause.

Is wiping out honebees worth the profits of a very few large agrobusinesses that sell these poisons?

Who sells this stuff, anyway? Bayer, Arysta, and Valent sell clothianidin, and Syngenta (SYT) sells thiamethoxam. What’s Syngenta’s excuse?

How do we feed a growing world population?
By poisoning honeybees, apparently.


Cancer in the Air, Food, and Water

Lyndsey Layton writes in the Washington Post that:
An expert panel that advises the president on cancer said Thursday that Americans are facing “grievous harm” from chemicals in the air, food and water that have largely gone unregulated and ignored.
Somebody noticed!

The President’s Cancer Panel called for a new national strategy that focuses on such threats in the environment and workplaces.

Epidemiologists have long maintained that tobacco use, diet and other factors are responsible for most cancers, and that chemicals and pollutants cause only a small portion — perhaps 5 percent.

The presidential panel said that figure has been “grossly underestimated” but it did not provide a new estimate.

“With the growing body of evidence linking environmental exposures to cancer, the public is becoming increasingly aware of the unacceptable burden of cancer resulting from environmental and occupational exposures that could have been prevented through appropriate national action,” the panel wrote in a report released Thursday.

Federal chemical laws are weak, funding for research and enforcement is inadequate, and regulatory responsibilities are split among too many agencies, the panel found.

The problem is not too many agencies. Here’s the problem: Continue reading