Even low concentrations of the pesticide may be more deadly then previously thought due to their high persistence in soil and water.
Any insect that feeds on the crop dies. Any bee or butterfly that collects pollen or nectar from the crop is poisoned. Neonicotinoids behave like carcinogens, and easily contaminate ground and surface water.
There could be dire long-term consequences of environmental pollution with these insecticides, and these fears are now being confirmed by extensive research.
Even minute traces of these pesticides could be fatal to insects, as continued use affects food availability for birds, a lack of weeds resulting in a loss of insects, as well as seeds. This decline is also linked to a lack of larger insects upon which chicks depend for their survival, which in turn affects breeding.
An ecological collapse is already taking place before our eyes, says *Dutch toxicologist Dr Henk Tennekes told the British Ecologist publication. ‘Numerous bird species do not find enough food for their chicks as insects are being exterminated by pesticides. Insects are vital in ecosystems. In fact, we need them for human survival.
In the UK alone, beekeepers [have in the recent past] reported a loss of one in three bee colonies, said a spokesperson. This has serious consequences for worldwide food security, because bees are our most important pollinators and play a vital role in the food chain it is estimated that one-third of human food supplies depend on bee pollination.
Bees are therefore like the "canary in the coal mine" their deaths are a warning to us all that the health of the planet is under threat.
Karen Wealleans of www.changingspaces.co.nz and Pat Baskett: patbaskett(at)xtra.co.nz
In New Zealand, the Green Party via Sue Kedgely on Thursday, 08 Sep 2011 have taken an urgent submission to Parliament. To SAVE THE BEES.
It's a Report to the Local Government and Environment Select Committee.
Save the Bees Petition
1. An urgent reassessment by the ERMA [now EPA] of Neonicotinoid insecticides, and the use of other pesticides that are highly toxic to bees.
Read more about this excellent work that Sue Kedgely is doing.