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Should neonicotinoid insecticides be banned


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Mews
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is your honey?

Pictures: Colored Honey Made by Candy-Eating French Bees


Commercial honey processing

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Ado 2
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh wow what an interesting article.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lets go back to the start here the original study was by Chensheng Lu of the Harvard School of Public Health and two collaborators from the Worcester County Beekeepers Association,
The press release said: "The likely culprit in sharp worldwide declines in honeybee colonies since 2006 is imidacloprid, one of the most widely used pesticides, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The authors, led by Alex Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology in the Department of Environmental Health, write that the new research provides “convincing evidence” of the link between imidacloprid and the phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which adult bees abandon their hives."
The problem is that the work is full of unsupported speculation, because of the press the story went viral and nobody has questioned him in public except scientists who he refuses to talk to because he likes been seen as a hero of the environmental lobby. The chemicals used in the Neonics are said by scientists to be less harmful than those already in use, i cannot accept that people involved in promoting entomology would support the use of harmful chemicals. There are reams of stuff on the internet saying how bad they are but hidden away there is a body of information from science supporting their use.Im still looking for the paper by the scientist who advised the british Government on their recent objection to their banning, she claims she was misrepresented in the press with her views.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greengage wrote:
We should have all the facts before coming down on one side.

not necessarily a wise approach. if you're dealing with public health and/or environmental health issues, a cautious course is often the best.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read the articles Greengage provided links to - it's worth doing. And I quite agree that Lu's so-called research proves nothing, it was so badly done. However, I think the whole process of modern food growing and marketing Is problematic and unsustainable and the use of neonics is just one facet of this. The article from TCD has a number of very relevant points about the long term use of such substances. I was impressed by the article from Scientific Beekeeping, too.
The article by the American Enterprise Institute, while agreeing with others in condemning Lu's research provoked my to look a little deeper. It turns out that it is a Neocon think tank peopled by friends of George W Bush II, many of its board members also being representatives of Dow, Bayer ExxonBP etc. These are the lads who gave us (imaginary) WMDs in the recent past. If they told me the sun was in the sky, I'd have to go out, to see for myself! Their opinions are anything but unbiased.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done for reading the articles, you and I are much more informed. This still has a long way to run. The jury is still out with me, I dont know if I posted this article from Nature.com
http://www.nature.com/articles/srep12574
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i discounted the AEI article as soon as i saw the site it was on; it's a clearly ideologically driven website. but the TCD study, and other study (published by nature) mentioned above show reason for concern about neonics.

as dave goulson stresses in the talk i linked to above, there's more than just pesticides at play with bee numbers, but pesticides are the low hanging fruit in terms of what we can control - habitat is not easily recreated, and invasive diseases are very troublesome to control.

long story short - i think allowing neonics back on to the market with the evidence we do have available would be extremely short sighted.
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long story short - i think allowing neonics back on to the market with the evidence we do have available would be extremely short sighted.
There is as much evidence to say they are not as harmful as people think just because some celebrity scientist have their doubts dies not mean they are right.
I suggest you go back and read the scientific articles.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you've been quite dismissive and arch in some of your comments here, so i'm going to bow out.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just read the article in Nature. Yes, in some ways the jury is still out - no one really knows whether these substances are of real economic benefit to the farmer, in the long run, despite their being the family of pesticides most widely used as a prophylactic seed coating. Neither does anyone know, for sure, the long term effect of their use on pollinating insects and it appears no one is studying their effect on the rest of the invertebrate world. I note the comments on leaching of the neonics perhaps reducing their effectiveness on oil seed rape. Where does the leachate go? Ground water, ditches, streams, rivers etc. it must go into us as well.
I will repete the point I made earlier:
First do no harm.
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