Pesticides threaten food supply | The Jackal

25 Jun 2014

Pesticides threaten food supply

There is now overwhelming scientific evidence showing systemic pesticides, primarily the neonicotinoids, have a serious adverse effect on bee colonies, with many studies pointing towards the conclusion that these pesticides are behind the rise of colony collapse disorder.

One recent study entitled Systemic Pesticides Pose Global Threat To Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (PDF) released yesterday is a good example of such research which categorically shows the concentrations of these chemicals building up in the environment in many areas exceeds levels approved as safe by pesticide regulations.

The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides study states:

The analysis found that the most affected groups of species were terrestrial invertebrates such as earthworms which are exposed at high levels via soil and plants, medium levels via surface water and leaching from plants and low levels via air (dusts). Both individuals and populations can be adversely affected at even low levels and by acute (ongoing) exposure. This makes them highly vulnerable to the levels of neonics associated with agricultural use.
The next most affected group is insect pollinators such as bees and butterflies which are exposed to high contamination through air and plants and medium exposure levels through water. Both individuals and populations can be adversely affected by low or acute exposure making them highly vulnerable.

Despite this conclusive evidence showing that neonicotinoid based pesticides also adversely effect other friendly organisms including birds and fish, there seems to be very little political action both here in New Zealand and abroad to curb let alone halt the use of these dangerous substances.

When scientists are now saying that the continued use of these dangerous pesticides could pose a threat to our ability to produce food, because bees are an integral part in the pollination process, something really needs to be done before it's too late.

It is however doubtful that the EPA in conjunction with the current government will take any notice of such research. They are perhaps the most ideologically blinded government we have ever had in New Zealand.