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Should neonicotinoid insecticides be banned


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Greengage
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:04 am    Post subject: Should neonicotinoid insecticides be banned Reply with quote

What are contributors thinking on this subject and and on what basis should they be banned.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm the first to admit I'm not a 'Green' gardener, but until it can be proven that bees are NOT affected by this stuff, I will not be using it anymore.

I heard 'Big Yellow Taxi' the other day 'Hey Farmer, Farmer, put away the DDT, give me spots on the apples but leave me the birds and the bees, PLEASE!'

On a similar vein - I think we were lied to when they said glyphosate became inert on contact with the soil. With what we are starting to learn about the complex structure that is known around here as 'Dirt' Shocked , the sooner Glyphosate is banned, the better.

The big question is - what do we replace them with. I planted out a tray of Lollo Rosso on Thurs morning. Friday morning they were ALL gone. Rolling Eyes
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'll see if i can find a talk given by dave goulson on it - he's a bee expert, and hos two books are well worth a read (about bees and insects in general, but he does delve into the neonicotinoid issue in them)
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that was quicker than expected:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDkpVWzFnK0&feature=youtu.be
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just watched that! Ye gods and little fishes what ARE we doing? Shocked
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK so how did this all start and have we got it wrong.
This story really started with a report by a Dr. Lu of Harvard Medical School, who has no background with entomology he is a dietitian and he and a friend attempted to run an experiment in 2012 (The 2012 Harvard Study) that would “prove” that the seed treatment of corn put so much imidacloprid into high fructose corn syrup that the feeding of such was the cause of CCD in bees. Although both the notion and the way in which the “study” was run were preposterous, and were dismissed by all serious bee researchers, it nevertheless got a lot of press.
The story first got legs in the Guardian and Scotsman http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/pesticides-wipe-out-honey-bee-hives-study-shows-1-3405681http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/09/honeybees-dying-insecticide-harvard-study and everybody ran with it
But since then it has been much discredited by numerous scientists.
https://www.aei.org/publication/bee-deaths-colony-collapse-disorder-chensheng-lu-flawed-harvard-study-endangers-bees/
http://scientificbeekeeping.com/news-and-blogs-page/
http://alandove.com/static/2012/04/colony-collapse-disorder-dead-bees-and-sloppy-science/
Research has also shown that bees prefer neonicotinoids http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v521/n7550/pdf/nature14414.pdf
and this one from trinity collage http://www.tcd.ie/news_events/articles/bees-prefer-nectar-containing-pesticides/5533#.Vd_33CVVhHx
Unfortunately single issue campaigners tend to present a one dimensional view of things. Neonics are neither totally benign nor totally catastrophic as some would have you believe.Re toxicity, one selling point of neonics is that they have far lower mammalian toxicity than their predecessors such as Carbamates and Organophosphates.
If you gogle Neonics you get these results https://www.google.ie/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=report+to+british+govt+on+neonics
I have a copy of the original report and the scientists were not gagged but gave a thorough report and the press ran with a different story to suit there agenda.

I like Dave and his books but i suspect he has his own agenda, If he was getting money from some of the big AG companies would his results have a different ending. We should have all the facts before coming down on one side. i know there are a lot of links to read but they are worth the effort if this subject interests you.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes there are two sides to every arguement. But as someone who in the past would have happily reached for pestacides/herbicides to resolve 'problems', I now believe that even in tiny doses these chemicals cause problems, if not directly NOW then years ahead when they have built up in the environment.

Prophalactic use of any chemical/ drug decreases it's effectiveness over time. God knows what a build up of such stuff does. To misquote the Tesco slogan 'even a little doesn't help.'
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats not a scientific argument its your opinion remember Henny Penny and the sky is falling down.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not meant to be a scientific argument. You asked what our thoughts were and those are my thoughts.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Greengage, for initiating this discussion. Here are some of my own, not-very-scientific thoughts on the subject:

I was very interested to listen to Dave Goulson's lecture and I'm really glad that the issue has been raised here. I first became concerned about neonics in 2013 when I was alerted to doubts about their use by an Avaaz.org campaign in support of an EU moratorium. It's hard to believe that was two years ago and that the moritorium is in its last months.

I am inclined to take seriously the likelihood that putting cocktails of man-made chemicals into our food and our soil is probably not a good idea. Note: despite growing some of my own fruit and veg, I continue to buy food from supermarkets - I just don't know what is in it.

I am inclined to look askance at claims by wealthy vested interests that they have my interests at heart - their first duty is to their shareholders and they are interested only in short term gains and the bottom line - points about grant aid to the likes of Tate and Lyle were well made in Goulson's lecture.

I remember Thalidomide, DDT and leaded petrol as just a few examples of products of the pharmaceutical and petro-chemical industries that were supposed to be harmless to the users and to the public and of great benefit to the world in general. Not very re-assuring! Once upon a time, scientists tried to reassure us that the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons was in our best interests, too. Funny how that one stopped!

I have grown very sceptical of 'men in white coats' (and it's nearly always men) telling me that I must use this, that or the other product in order to stay healthy/ be successful/pull women/ protect my nearest and dearest from dire consequences. And no, I'm not one of those people who thinks MMR vaccinations are a bad idea and I'm not unduly scared of high tension power lines - though I wouldn't like to live underneath one!

I do share Goulson's concerns about soil erosion caused, in part, by modern agricultural practices. I have written of that here, based on my own observations of the farmland around me. The soil looks and feels lifeless, unlike that in my garden (it all comes from the same hillside!) I know how productive my own soil is.

I have observed at first hand the blindness of some scientifically-educated people to inconvenient evidence - amongst others, a geologist brother in law who works for big oil and is a climate change denyer. And I have heard, too often, 'experts' claims that something is un-economic/impractical/untested etc, when the whatever-it-is has never been properly researched and tested in the first place. Experience has taught me that to 'follow the money' is good advice when evaluating motives and that those with most money tend to shout loudest.

I've gone on long enough. I'll finish by quoting a very ancient piece of advice, where human interventions are concerned:
"First do no harm"
And I will refer to two laws applicable to all human actions :
- Murphy's Law, and
- the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Henny Penney may, in the long run, be proven right!
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Ado 2
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cereals eaten are grown by Nestle. Made with Genetically modified grain. The bread we eat is made with same grain and Gmo soya. The animals that we eat ( I don't ) are mass produced and filled with hormones, anti bio tics and other toxic chemicals. I read in the paper the other day that someone had stolen some sheep and people were warned not to buy or eat them as they had been given some injection that would be toxic to humans if they ate them. We are sold fruit and veg that have pesticides and insecticide s ( hence me trying to grow organically ). I remember a time when I was sent shopping by my mother with one shopping bag to go to the butcher and the local shop. If you notice that the supermarkets have packed meat yet have a fish meat section where it is cheaper and sold with less packaging. I also remember my mother putting DDT on our beds when there were fleas. No wonder people are getting cancer all over the place. A bottle of wine is a prime example where the grapes would have been treated with fungicides and insecticide s ( buy organic it's not much dearer ). I also read somewhere that less people going out for the "big "shop anymore but going out a couple of times a week and shopping around. Hence buying fresher food (with less packaging). Have the heard the u tube Lidely Aldi Song by the way
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Off subject a bit as it is all above my head a touch.
When I first heard that story of the sheep rustling my thoughts were that it was the sheep owner putting out a story so that the thieves might not get any financial gain from their exploits. Of course he could have been telling the truth too.

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Ado 2
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it was the time element ..... It would have been ok to eat them after a certain time frame.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re the sheep: it may have been a treatment against warble fly (a horrible pest) similar to the flea treatment for dogs that Goulson references. Cattle get worm treatments, too. I presume these are safe for humans IF properly done. I certainly don't want to eat parasite-infested meat.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ado 2 - gosh, DDT in the bed! Shocked I have some Ideal Home magazines from the 1930's, you should see some of the Ads in there. My favourites are the ones advertising face creams containing radium to give you a 'glowing complexion' - no sxxt Sherlock!

Now I like a glass of wine and I do make my own (Rhubarb white and Elderberry red) Some years it is fantastic, even if say so myself, and sometimes it's like drain cleaner! I do wonder what happens commercial wine to keep it consistant?! Perhaps it's best I don't think about it too hard. Confused
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