Stop poisoning bees | The Jackal

21 Jun 2013

Stop poisoning bees

Today, an industry associated lobby group for most of the major agrochemical businesses in New Zealand, AGCARM, released a so-called Fact Sheet On Neonicotinoids (PDF), which is filled with inaccuracies and blatant lies.

This is in response to the European Commission deciding to impose restrictions on three neonicotinoid compounds (imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam), all of which have been shown to cause adverse effects in bee populations.

The restrictions are being imposed because the EFSA identified a number of risks to bees by these three neonicotinoid based insecticides.

But despite their findings, AGCARM thinks it knows best:

The report did not indicate whether the potential theoretical risks to bees should be deemed acceptable or not.

Which is completely untrue! The European Food Safety Authority concluded that the three products pose a ‘high risk’ to honey bees in many crops producing nectar and pollen. That's why their use is being restricted.

EFSA's research is extensive, and despite there being gaps in the available data, they have categorically found that neonicotinoid based pesticides cause adverse effects on bees.

Other peer reviewed research also comes to the same conclusion. But despite a large body of research showing the same thing, AGCARM claims:

Neonic products have been widely used in New Zealand for over 20 years and there is no evidence that they have any adverse impacts on the health of our bee populations.

DDT and 245T were also used for a long time in New Zealand with the manufacturers claiming there were no adverse health effects. We later learned they were lying, who along with the government tried to hide the extent of the damage being caused.

With 80 per cent of all pollination due to the activity of bees, applying neonicotinoid based pesticides to the detriment of this essential part of the ecosystem is madness! Therefore there should be a ban on the use of this scientifically proven unsafe substance in New Zealand.

The manufacturers should need to prove that their products are safe before they are used, and there currently is no unbiased data to this effect.