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posted by cmn32480 on Friday September 23 2016, @10:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the bee-nicer-to-nature dept.

Common Dreams reports

Agrochemical giants Syngenta and Bayer discovered in their own tests that their pesticides caused severe harm to bees, according to unpublished documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the environmental group Greenpeace.

The companies conducted the trials on products that used the controversial pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or neonics, which have long been linked to rapid bee decline. Neonics are also the world's most commonly used pesticide.

According to their own studies, Syngenta's thiamethoxam and Bayer's clothianidin were found to cause severe harm at high levels of use, although the effect was lessened when used under 50 parts per billion (ppb) and 40ppb respectively, the Guardian reports.

However, as Greenpeace notes, the research "assumes a very narrow definition of harm to bee health and ignores wild bees which evidence suggests are more likely to be harmed by neonicotinoids".

That means the findings may "substantially underestimate" the impact of neonics, Greenpeace said.

[...] the studies are not realistic. The bees were not exposed to the neonics that we know are in planting dust, water drunk by bees, and wildflowers wherever neonics are used as seed treatments. This secret evidence highlights the profound weakness of regulatory tests.

Our previous discussions about neonicotinoids.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 24 2016, @03:15AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 24 2016, @03:15AM (#405830)

    Look, it's an insecticide. Bees are insects. If the product works as intended and advertised, it kills bees. Did anybody think otherwise?

    There is no problem here, unless you have a problem with the concept of an insecticide. We could of course eliminate insecticides, thereby causing mass starvation and collapse of civilization. That's... an option, I suppose. If we rule out that option, we're going to use chemicals that kill bees. Try not to spray flowers, and try not to place hives near places that might get sprayed.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by dime on Saturday September 24 2016, @03:39AM

    by dime (1163) on Saturday September 24 2016, @03:39AM (#405839)

    You don't think killing bees is going to cause mass starvation?

    What is it that you think holds our biosphere together?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 24 2016, @04:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 24 2016, @04:54AM (#405853)

      Most crops do fine without bees. For example, corn is wind pollinated and tomatoes are self-pollinating via flower shape. We use cuttings to propagate potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, and plantains. None of these need bees.

      That said, we currently use the poison and we still have bees. Sure, some hives get exposure and fail, but lots of hives never get exposed. Be smart about where you place your hive and where/when you spray.

      We can not support our population without pesticide, despite organic fantasies. People would starve. Billions would die.

      • (Score: 2) by r1348 on Saturday September 24 2016, @07:13AM

        by r1348 (5988) on Saturday September 24 2016, @07:13AM (#405872)

        So wild plants pollination holds no value to you. Point taken.

      • (Score: 2) by dime on Saturday September 24 2016, @06:41PM

        by dime (1163) on Saturday September 24 2016, @06:41PM (#406011)

        You're insane.

        We can not support our population without pesticide, despite organic fantasies. People would starve. Billions would die.

        No one ever mentioned organics. You just chose this article about LYING corporations to promote your own ideology. When was the choice ever to choose between neonics or nothing at all?

        Most crops do fine without bees. For example, corn is wind pollinated and tomatoes are self-pollinating via flower shape. We use cuttings to propagate potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, and plantains. None of these need bees.

        So corn, tomatoes, potatoes, and bananas. Awesome. Everything else that anyone might want to eat, we'll just have people pollinate. This will be the biggest job creation in all of history.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by t-3 on Saturday September 24 2016, @01:16PM

    by t-3 (4907) on Saturday September 24 2016, @01:16PM (#405928) Journal

    Plants grow just fine without insecticide. Appropriate rotation, breeding programs, and exploitation of edge effects (which by necessity means moving away from vast monocultures, which are one of the main reasons for many of the problems facing industrial farming) make it very easy to be productive without using insecticide at all.