Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Systemic pesticides -harbingers of doom

Systemic pesticides or chemicals that are actually absorbed by a plant when applied to seeds, soil or leaves. The chemicals then circulate to the plant tissues killing the insects that feed on them. Use of these pesticides on food crops began in 1998 and has steadily increased during the past 10 years. Unlike with traditional insecticides, you can't wash or peel off systemic pesticide residues because they're in the plant tissues not on the plants exteriors.
The four main systemic pesticides used on food crops are members of the nitroguanidine/neonicotinoid group of chemicals, which has been implicated in the mysterious calmly clips disorder that his killed billions of bees.
Bee deaths attributed to CCD

Imidacloprid - these can be applied to many vegetables right up to the day there harvested

Thiamethoxam - first approved as a seed treatment for corn in 2002,these products have been applied to the soil since they were approved 

Clothianidin - it is used as a seed treatment for canola, cereals, corn, and sugar beets as well as a soil treatment for potatoes. 

Dinotefuran- this can be applied to the soil or sprayed on leafy greens, potatoes in the cucumber family.
Zylam 20SG Systemic Turf Insecticide uses the active ingredient dinotefuran, which is a 3rd gen neonicotinoid insecticide, in a 20% soluble granule.

When the pesticide action network reviewed the results of pesticide residue tests conducted by the US Department of Agriculture from 1999 to 2007, numerous samples contained residues of the systemic pesticides. For example, 74% of conventionally grown lettuce and 70% of broccoli  samples showed Imidacloprid residues.

Clothianidin - was found on potatoes,Thiamethoxam showed up and strawberries and sweet peppers, and some collard green samples were laced with Dinotefuran
The US Environmental Protection Agency has launched comprehensive review of the environmental safety of The environmental safety of imidacloprid. The California department of pesticide regulation cited reports of eucalyptus nectar and pollen with imidacloprid levels up to 550 ppb. That's nearly 3 times 185 ppb needed to kill honeybees. The deadly levels of the systemic poisons are even showing up in the leaf  guttation drops, those are water droplets that plants sometimes exude. The journal of economic entomology reports "when bees consume guttation drops, collected from plants grown with systemic pesticide coated seeds, they encounter death within a few minutes.
Equally disturbing, it appears that nitroguanidine pesticides can persistent in soil for 500 days or more, which creates a high risk scenario. After 1 or 2 applications, plants grown in treated soil may produce toxic pollen nectar, or guttation droplets for more than two seasons. All the while ,the entire treated area will be moderately toxic to beneficial earthworms Carabid Beatles, lady beetles, predatory pirate bugs, and more.
there is no scientific evidence yet that says food laced with these will harm humans, but why is the EPA allowing systemic pesticides on food plants in the first place? Do people really want to eat pumpkins that are so full of poisons they kill every cucumber beetles that dares take a bite? Looking beyond food plants, does the use of systemic pesticides to grow perfect roses justify the death of millions and possibly billions of bees and other insects? We need to set things right and learn this important lesson: When we let a novel, man-made chemicals loose in the food chain, we can't be entirely certain of what will happen next. This new contamination of our food is yet another reason to grow and buy organic.

EPA analyzed the use of the neonicotinoid seed treatments for insect control in United States soybean production. This report provides the analysis and EPA’s conclusions based on the analysis. It discusses how the treatments are used, available alternatives, and costs.

EPA concludes that these seed treatments provide little or no overall benefits to soybean production in most situations. Published data indicate that in most cases there is no difference in soybean yield when soybean seed was treated with neonicotinoids versus not receiving any insect control treatment. There , can we finally be done with using such a dangerous and potentially worthless product ? 

Below is a link to the EPA's study and analysis and the public comment period on the analysis is open until December 22, 2014.


And here's the docket section that allows you to leave a comment


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