In the most recent news about neonicotinoid pesticides, it was reported that European countries have already decided to ban the continuous use of the pesticides because of the presented scientific evidences showing that they continue to endanger bees. Corporate farms in the U.S.; however, continue to ignore the petition associated to the banning of the pesticides filed and presented by the Center for Food Safety. This is said to lead to the continuous decline of the bee population all over the U.S.
What are neonicotinoid pesticides?
Neonicotinoids refer to a group of insecticides mainly composed of clothianidin, imidacloprid, fipronil and theamethoxam. These are widely recognized as nerve poisons or neurotoxins that are mainly designed to damage the central nervous system of insects, thereby leading to paralysis and death in the most serious cases. Among the insects targeted by these pesticides are vine weevils, whitefly, termites, Colorado potato beetle and aphids. Aside from being a major cause of death and paralysis to insects, neonicotinoids are also capable of producing other symptoms not only in target insects but other pests and living organisms as well, including their interference with the navigation systems of the organisms and damage their natural capability to groom.
While the neonicotinoid pesticide is primarily designed as non-lethal when used at low doses, it is water soluble and tends to stay in the soil for several years. Its high level of persistency in both water and soil may cause insects and other living organisms to be continuously exposed to it. Its negative impact; however, takes place when it starts to target not only the insects that are supposed to be deteriorated, but also those pollinators and organisms that offer benefits to the environment. These include not only bees but butterflies, hoverflies, moths and aquatic invertebrates as well. The pesticides also tend to negatively affect insect-eating birds, amphibians and bats in an indirect manner. This leads to the banning of the use of neonicotinoids in various countries including those in Europe.
Neonicotinoid pesticides and their role in the decline of bees in the U.S.
Last year, scientists in the U.S. were puzzled and alarmed by the continued decline in bee population not only in the different states of the U.S. but also in other countries. But despite the evidence that shows how damaging neonicotinoids are to bees, the U.S. still ignores the petition of other authorized and reputable bodies and agencies to ban or regulate the use of the pesticide. European countries already have a tight regulation in place when it comes to using neonicotinoids.
Based on the risk assessment process which is being considered in the legislation of European countries, the risks of the pesticide to honey bees are examined in full detail. The governing bodies in Europe also continue to consider all the damaging factors of the use of the pesticide to the bee population including the methods used in applying them and their sub-lethal and lethal effects. Several countries have also followed suit by making sure that their use of neonicotinoids are banned and regulated not only in crops, but in household products as well. This leads to more people persuading the U.S. to be one with them in protecting nature’s hardest workers, the bees.
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