Pierre Mineau: Tennekes’s self-published assessment of a ‘disaster in the making’ was correct in the fundamentals

Evidence that neonicotinoids are a strong contributor to insect declines should not come as a surprise. Their use has exploded in the last two decades. As early as 2008, the USEPA in one of its reviews of thiamethoxam went as far as to predict “structural and functional changes of both the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems” following registration of the insecticide. Such a broad statement of concern is rarely encountered in a formal regulatory assessment. It is unfortunate indeed that this EPA scientist’s views fell on deaf ears.

The novel pesticide flupyradifurone (Sivanto) affects honeybee motor abilities

A new pesticide by the name of “Sivanto” was recently released by Bayer AG. Its active ingredient flupyradifurone binds to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AchR) in the honeybee brain, similar to neonicotinoids. Nevertheless, flupyradifurone is assumed to be harmless for honeybees and can even be applied on flowering crops. So far, only little has been known about sublethal effects of flupyradifurone on honeybees. Intact motor functions are decisive for numerous behaviors including foraging and dancing.

Decline in bogong moth numbers could have catastrophic effects in the Australian Alps

Millions of bogong moths normally line the walls of caves in the Australian Alps over summer, but for the past two years there have been zero moths in some caves. Every year Professor Warrant returns from Lund University in Sweden to his house — and field laboratory — in Adaminaby in New South Wales to study the moths and their incredible migratory skills. Last year he was shocked to find two caves he regularly visited had no moths at all. A third, larger cave in the Snowy Mountains had fewer than previous years, but still millions of moths, he said.

The UK's insects are dying out

In a corner of Hertfordshire, in one of the oldest agricultural research institutes in the world – the Rothamsted Research Institute, founded in 1843 – entomologist Chris Shortall spends his days counting and categorising mounds of moths, aphids and beetles. In fact, that is exactly what he has been doing ever since he joined the Rothamsted Insect Survey (RIS) in 2003 – a branch of the Rothamsted Institute that has been dedicated to the tracking and study of all types of bugs in the UK since 1964.

Six days of eating all organic is enough to significantly reduce pesticide levels in the body

Researchers in California just demonstrated that a mere six days of eating all organic is enough to significantly reduce levels of harmful pesticides in your body. In the study, four families (with completely different backgrounds) consumed conventional products for six days and had their urine tested. Then, they ate a 100 percent organic diet for six days and had their urine tested again. The drop in pesticide levels present in their urine between tests was massive.

Pesticides as Poisons

There has been a recent investigation here on Bellingcat, of a poisoning incident in Bulgaria in April 2015, where an individual named Emilian Gebrev was posioned. An angle of this investigation has been to see if it is at all connected to the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal. One particular aspect of recent publicity has been to examine whether or not a “Novichok” series nerve agent was responsible for the 2015 poisoning incident.

Study Shows Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet

A new peer-reviewed study shows that eating a completely organic diet—even for just one week—can dramatically reduce the presence of pesticide levels in people, a finding that was characterized as “groundbreaking” by critics of an industrial food system that relies heavily on synthetic toxins and chemicals to grow crops and raise livestock. Published in the Environmental Research, the study—titled Organic Diet Intervention Significantly Reduces Urinary Pesticide Levels in U.S.

Acetamiprid Residues in Water Reservoirs in the Cotton Basin of Northern Benin

An Ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled to UV detection method was developed to determine acetamiprid residues in water reservoirs of northern Benin, close to cotton fields. The quantification limit of this method was 0.2 µg L−1 acetamiprid in water, its precision ranged between 8% and 22%, and its trueness between 99% and 117% (for concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 5.0 µg L−1). Acetamiprid residues were determined in water samples collected in four reservoirs from northern Benin during the phytosanitary treatment period of cotton.

Temporal pattern in imidacloprid levels in an urban stream in southern California

Imidacloprid is a widely used insecticide with high runoff potential posing a significant threat to aquatic ecosystems. In order to determine the spatial and temporal concentrations of imidacloprid in Forester Creek, a tributary to the San Diego River, surface water samples were collected from two sites under wet-weather and dry-weather conditions. Imidacloprid was detected with 100% frequency in surface water samples from Forester Creek with a median concentration of 16.9 ng/L (range: 3.8–96.8 ng/L). Over 60% of samples exceeded U.S. EPA's chronic exposure benchmark (10 ng/L).

Unwarranted product defense by Bayer and Syngenta had catastrophic consequences for the environment

The nature of receptor binding by imidacloprid is of fundamental importance for risk assessment. If, as Bayer and Syngenta-sponsored scientists now infer, receptor binding is reversible, the toxicity of imidacloprid would be concentration-dependent only, and there would likely be a threshold