Beleid en debat

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.

Belangwekkend proefschrift van Meino Smit over de ontwikkeling van duurzaamheid in de landbouw vanaf 1950

Op dinsdag 11 september 2018 is ir. M.J. Smit aan Wageningen University & Research gepromoveerd op het onderwerp “De duurzaamheid van de Nederlandse landbouw, 1950 – 2015 – 2040”. In dit proefschrift is een beeld weergegeven van de ontwikkelingen in de Nederlandse landbouw in de periode 1950 t/m 2015. Vervolgens is aangegeven aan welke randvoorwaarden de landbouw in de toekomst moet gaan voldoen.

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.

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.

NRC checkt: ‘Mondiaal neemt 40 procent van de insectensoorten af’ en noemt uitspraak ongefundeerd

Naar aanleiding van de kelderende insectenaantallen besloten twee Australische biologen, Francisco Sánches-Bayo en Kris Wyckhuys, om de mondiale achteruitgang in kaart te brengen. Daarvoor analyseerden ze 73 artikelen over insectenbiodiversiteit uit de afgelopen 40 jaar. In het tijdschrift Biological Conservation schrijven ze over een „wereldwijde afname”. Ze noteren in de samenvatting „dramatische afnamesnelheden” die in een paar decennia zouden kunnen leiden tot „het uitsterven van 40 procent van de insectensoorten wereldwijd”.

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.

Als niets wordt ondernomen tegen bestrijdingsmiddelen, verdwijnen insecten binnen een eeuw van de planeet

De globale insectenpopulatie is op weg richting een totale uitroeiing als de trend van de afgelopen dertig jaar zich voortzet. Binnen enkele decennia dreigt er geen enkel insect meer te zijn op onze planeet. De gevolgen zullen catastrofaal zijn voor de “natuurlijke ecosystemen”, maar ook voor “de overlevingskansen van de mensheid”. Dat stellen twee wetenschappers, onder wie een Belg, in de eerste wereldwijde studie over het onderwerp.

Neonic Pesticide May Become More Toxic in Tap Water

Yet again, our government scientists—the oft neglected but so important brain trust of our Nation—bring the public some very important new data. Pesticide water monitoring experts at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) paired up with scientists from the University of Iowa in a federally-funded collaboration to track neonicotinoid pesticides or “neonics” in tap water, including the potential to form chlorinated disinfection byproducts (DBPs) from the pesticides and their metabolites that may be more toxic than the original compounds. And, the news isn’t good.

Low levels of neonicotinoids are present in commonly-consumed fruits and vegetables sold in the US

Residue data for seven neonicotinoid pesticides collected between 1999 and 2015 by the US Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program (PDP) were collated and summarized by year across various food commodities, including fruit, vegetable, meat, dairy, grain, honey, and baby food, as well as water to qualitatively describe and examine trends in contamination frequency and residue concentrations. The highest detection frequencies (DFs) for neonicotinoids by year on all commodities were generally below 20%.

Neonicotinoids detected in surface water and sediment of the Pearl Rivers, South China

Occurrence and distribution of five neonicotinoids (NEOs) in surface water and sediment were studied in the Pearl Rivers, including three trunk streams, Dongjiang, Beijiang, Xijiang River (DR, BR and XR), South China. At least one neonicotinoid was detected in surface water and sediment of the Pearl Rivers, with imidacloprid (IMI) and thiamethoxam (THM) being the frequently detected NEOs. Total amount of NEOs (∑5neonics) in surface water and sediment ranged from 24.0 to 322 ng/L, and from 0.11 to 11.6 ng/g dw, respectively.