There is an interesting discussion on Neonics on the Which forum, not only for the excellent post given by Friend of the Bees (quoted below) but also for the persistence of someone who gives the appearance of being a paid industry blogger (Wavechange). He/she creates an authoritative and personable persona (retired university lecturer in biology) and appears to agree with the thrust of the ‘ban’ argument while actually sowing seeds of doubt intended to snare the undecided into remaining as such. (For those interested, there is more on the techniques used here.) I see he is collecting quite a few thumbs down. Maybe a few more?
Here is the text of the post that Friend of the Bees put on the Which? forum:
Here are some background facts: the pesticide ‘revolution’
1. Neonics were used on over 2,300,000 acres of UK crops in 2011, of which approx 462,000 acres of wheat, OSR, barley, peas, beans, apples, tomatoes etc were seed-treated with Imidacloprid and a further 1.9 million acres were treated with Clothianidin. That means every seed was coated with a systemic neurotoxin – that perfuses the entire plant for the entire growing season – from seed to fruit.
Check it out: https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/pusstats/
2. These poisons are HYPER toxic. Just 3 parts per billion in sugar solution will kill any insect.
That equates to 1 teaspoon in 1000 metric tonnes of water – an average swimming pool. More dramatically, just 4 picogrammes – 4 trillionths of a gramme, if administered over 10 days, achieved a 100% bee kill (Dr Luz Belzunces research in 1994 – INRA, France)
Imidacloprid is 7,200 times more toxic to bees than DDT – weight for weight.
Clothianidin in about 6,000 times more toxic.
3. They PERSIST in the crop for many months – and are bio-available to all bees and pollinators as long as the crop flowers – via poisoned pollen and nectar/
4. They PERSIST in the soil for up to 1200 days and kill all the earthworms, soil invertebrates etc for that entire period. No life above soil; no life below soil. Could this be the reason why 19 farmland bird species have declined in the UK by up to 80% in just 20 years? No insects = no baby skylarks, peewits, thrushes, yellowhammers, sparrows, starlings, partridges . . .
5. The LAW in the EU is that no pesticide can be licensed if it persists in soil for 120 days – but Imidacloprid persists for up to 900 days and Clothianidin persists for up to 1200 days; one study in America said Clothianidin persists for up to 13,000 days (19 years) on clay soils. That is – if only ONE crop is seed treated with these poisons; if they treat a crop every year, and 98% of the pesticide remains in the soil – then we are talking about the permanent toxic pollution of millions of acres of UK soil for many decades to come. And the residual poison is absorbed into ANY flower or crop which follows in that field. You plant poppies and you get poison poppies for 20 years./
6. PROPHYLACTIC USE
In the past, the ‘old’ pesticides were applied ‘in reaction’ to a ‘real’ invasion of insects. Today the neonics are applied ‘prophylactically’ to every seed, in every acre of every field, every planting, every year, after year. after year. Currently 2,300,000 acres of UK crops and 242 million acres of American cropland and soil are PERMANENTLY poisonous to ALL insect and invertebrate life.
Finally, France banned neonics on oilseed rape, sunflowers and maize in 2000AD and guess what? The crops did not die. They used crop rotation and IPM to minimise insect pests – and they allowed natural predators like: lacewings, swallows, ladybirds, beetles and a hundred other species – to eat the aphids.
As things stand, 2,300,000 acres of UK farmland are highly toxic to ALL forms of wildlife, above ground, below ground, and around the fields, in water ditches, ponds and wetlands adjacent to treated fields. Neonics are highly soluble in water and can travel for miles in water – to be absorbed by flowers logn distances away.
These are the most poisonous substances ever synthesised by perverted science.