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Neonicotinoids

Also see SNAP's bee die-off pagewildlife page/aquatic invertebrates, birds, fish, insects, mammals, and amphibians, waterwater /Saskatchewan,   foodhealth/nervous systemcancerlegislation/regulatory/Canada, petswildlifelegislationsafety, Legal/litigation

Death of as Many as 107,000 Bumblebees from Neonicotinoid Insecticides Studied    (Beyond Pesticides, July 16, 2021) Recently published research reviews the 2013 Wilsonville, Oregon mass bumblebee die-off from application of the neonicotinoid dinotefuran on 55 linden trees in a big-box-store parking lot. In that single event, the research paper (published in Environmental Entomology) estimates between 45,830 and 107,470 bumblebees from some 289–596 colonies were killed. Reporting on the new study, by Entomology Today, quotes primary conclusions of the co-authors: “Our study underscores the lethal impact of the neonicotinoid pesticide dinotefuran on pollinating insect populations,” and, “It is likely that the vast majority of mass pesticide kills of beneficial insects across other environments go unnoticed and unreported.”   SNAP Comment: As of 26 July 3032, there are 7 dinotefuran products registered in Canada by the PMRA for dogs and cats, outdoor spraying of some external structures and as a cockroach gel.

Conservation Genomics Pinpoint Pesticides and Pathogens in Decline of Bumblebees   (Beyond Pesticides, July 13, 2021) Bumblebees exposed to pesticides and pathogens display changes in gene expression that can be pinpointed and analyzed by cutting edge research tools “We’re looking directly at bee tissues  to try and get clues to the stressors that are affecting this bee. I think this is a gamechanger for sure. With a single study, we are able to implicate a couple of really obvious things we’ve talked about for years – pathogens and pesticides – in the case of Bombus terricola.”  says study coauthor Amro Zayed, PhD.  'Researchers discovered 61 differentially expressed genes, including those involved in detoxification, as well as those associated with neurodegenerative disorders and immune response. ..Bumblebees display gene expressions that are associated with exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides, fipronil, and a range of pathogens, including deformed wing virus and sacbrood virus.... A 2015 report by the European Academies Science Advisory Council found, “Several studies have demonstrated synergistic effects of neonicotinoid residues with bee parasites and viruses.' 

Widely used neonic insecticides may be a threat to mammals, too     Neonicotinoids, used on corn seed and other crops, are already accused of contributing to declines of insect pollinators. Now there’s evidence they can also harm rabbits, birds, and deer.(By Elizabeth Royte, Food and Environment Reporting Network, February 5, 2021)    'Over the past several years, scientists have found that only about 5 percent of neonic seed coatings are taken up by crop plants. The rest washes or wears off seeds. The chemicals accumulate in soils and waterways, where a wide range of wildlife is exposed to them. Evidence is growing that compounds tailored to take out invertebrates can also harm mammals, birds, and fish. In a 2019 study, Roy set up camera traps in agricultural fields where she had deliberately spilled treated seed. Her motion-triggered cameras recorded more than a dozen bird species (including ring-necked pheasants, geese, and turkeys), plus bears, raccoons, rodents, rabbits, foxes, and skunks, all feeding on the treated seed.'    Add deer, antelope and likely all the moose living in SK farmland these days.

“No Pollinator is Safe” — New Evidence of Neonicotinoids Harming Wild, Ground Nesting Bees  (Beyond Pesticides, April 13, 2021) A new study is making it increasingly clear that current laws are not protecting wild, ground nesting bees from the hazards of neonicotinoid insecticides.... Blue Orchard Mason Bees (Osima spp) are at particular risk from pesticide-contaminated soil they use to create their nest. 

Minnesota Deer Threatened by Ubiquitous Neonicotinoid Contamination, According to Study  (Beyond Pesticides, March 10, 2021)     'Preliminary results reveal that 61% of deer spleen samples contained neonicotinoids. Although MDNR notes that these levels are below allowable levels set by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for consumption of other foods like fruit and beef, it has not yet released exact numbers, and that fact alone does not equate to safety. ...Subsequent reporting from the Minneapolis Star Tribune indicates that some of the deer spleens tested contained detections well above levels found in the South Dakota study that result in fawn birth defects (.33 parts per billion). A letter written to hunters who provided MDNR spleen samples informed them that initial testing found levels as high as 6.1 parts per billion. ...The detections were not simply from one particular location, but widespread throughout the state, even in remote, forested areas.    These data reinforce long-standing calls by scientists and conservation groups to eliminate the use of neonicotinoids due to their broad ranging impacts on ecosystems. In 2018, the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, an international group of over 240 scientists published a Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA) synthesizing 1,121 published peer-reviewed studies over the last five years. The scientists found that, “neonics impact all species that chew a plant, sip its sap, drink its nectar, eat its pollen or fruit and these impacts cascade through an ecosystem weakening its stability.”

Despite 1,700 Dog and Cat Deaths from Flea Collars, EPA Silent; Children at Risk   (Beyond Pesticides, March 5, 2021) Pet owners will be alarmed to read the report, by USA Today, that a popular flea and tick collar — Seresto, developed by Bayer and sold by Elanco — has been linked to nearly 1,700 pet deaths, injuries to tens of thousands of animals, and harm to hundreds of people... Beyond Pesticides and other advocates have warned of the toxicity of pet pesticide treatments, not only to the animals themselves, but also, to children and other household members. There are nontoxic ways to protect pets from fleas and other pests, and to protect human family members at the same time.    The active pesticide ingredients in the Seresto pet collars are imidacloprid and flumethrin.  The neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid is a commonly used pesticide associated with serious health and environmental decline. ... Flumethrin is a chemical in the pyrethroid class of synthetic neurotoxic insecticides, which have been repeatedly linked to neurological issues, such as seizures and learning disabilities in children, and to gastrointestinal distress, as well as to damage to non-target invertebrates, according to EPA’s own analysis.'   SNAP Comment: There are 99 imidacloprid products registered in Canada as of 23 March 2021, many of them registered for pet treatments. Flumethrin is not and has not bee registered in Canada. The Seresto trademark is not registered in Canada.

Filed under petsneonicotinoids and pyrethrins

Solitary Wild Bees Harmed by Neonicotinoid Pesticides Applied by Soil Drenching  (Beyond Pesticides, March 2, 2021) 'Populations of solitary ground nesting bees decline after exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides, according to a study published in Scientific Reports late last month. In addition to ground-nesting bees, neonicotinoids have been shown to harm butterflies, hummingbirds, songbirds, aquatic species and mammals, including human,.. Squash seeds were treated with the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam, the neonicotinoid imidacloprid was applied as a soil drench, and chlorantraniliprole was sprayed on plant foliage. A fourth group of hoop houses did not have a pesticide applied in order to act as a control.     Results show that the soil drench (imidacloprid) presents significant hazards to ground nesting bees. Hoary squash bees in this group initiated 85% fewer nests, harvested 5 times less pollen, and produced 89% fewer offspring than the untreated control group... Whatever the etiology of the deleterious effects observed, study authors are certain that their data points to unacceptable hazards from the use of imidacloprid.' 

Hummingbirds Harmed by Pesticides Killing Off Bees, Butterflies, and Other Pollinators   (Beyond Pesticides, February 23, 2021)  'Well known for their nectar-fueled hovering flight powered by wings beating over 50 times per second, hummingbirds display unique reactions to toxic pesticides. Research by scientists at the University of Toronto finds that hummingbirds exposed to systemic neonicotinoid insecticides for even a short period of time can disrupt the high-powered metabolism of this important and charismatic animal.  Given their high energy demands and with such razor thin margins for error, neonicotinoids may significantly damage hummingbird’s fitness in the wild.' 

Ethanol Plant Processing Pesticide Coated Seeds Contaminates Nebraska Town   US info. (Beyond Pesticides, January 13, 2021)  Under FIFRA (the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act), a clause known as the “treated article exemption” permits seeds to be coated with highly toxic pesticides without any requirement for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess environmental or public health effects of their use.This allows hazardous pesticides (primarily insecticides and fungicides) to be used indiscriminately with no effective oversight. Research finds that over 150 million acres of farmland are planted with toxic seeds, including nearly four tons of bee-killing neonicotinoids each year.   The AltEn plant is unique in that it is accepting unused treated seeds for farmers, advertising the site as a “recycling” facility, according to The Guardian. Apart from biofuel production, ethanol plants usually sell their spent, fermented grains to livestock farmers for feed. Processing toxic seeds has made that product too hazardous for cattle, so AltEn has been selling it to farmers as a soil amendment.   The neonicotinoid clothianidin was found in a waste mound at an astounding 427,000 parts per billion (ppb). A wastewater storage pond found high levels of three neonicotinoids – imidacloprid, cloathianidin, and thimethoxam. Thiamethoxam was discovered at 24,000 ppb, over 300 times higher than its acceptable level in drinking water (70ppb), and roughly 1,300 times higher than the level considered safe for aquatic organisms by EPA (17.5ppb).  Expectedly, pollinators near the plant are dying off. Judy Wu-Smart, PhD, bee researcher at University of Nebraska documented a sustained collapse of every beehive used by the university for a research project on a farm within a mile of the AltEn plant. SNAP Comment: SK apparently has two ethanol plants with several more in Canada. I hope we donot make the same mistake under the idea of recycling. Why not? Because we did it about treated wood, allowing it to be used or burnt in an unsafe manner under the guise of 'recycling" and 'reusing.' Let's face it,some products are just too toxic for that. 

What’s Bad for Bees Could Be Bad for Marine Life, Too   Preliminary research shows that a popular insecticide hampers arthropods in the ocean. (by Ramin Skibba, PANNA, May 4, 2020)  'They found that coral exposed to the insecticide had reduced polyp activity—an indication of increased stress. Shrimplike amphipods were affected, too. Even at low doses, imidacloprid exposure inhibited their movement. And for some, high levels of exposure were fatal.  Hladik says most of the concentrations of neonics tested in Davis’s experiment were unrealistically high—beyond what is seen in the wild. But even low doses, she adds, could still be a hazard for marine life.'

The Insect Apocalypse Moves Up the Food Chain: American Bird Populations in Rapid Decline Due to Pesticide Use     (Beyond Pesticides, August 18, 2020) 'Ongoing declines in bird population and diversity are being accelerated by the use of neonicotinoid insecticides, according to research published in Nature Sustainability earlier this month.    Using these models, researchers determined that for every 100kg (220 lbs) increase in the use of any neonicotinoid within a US county, grassland bird populations subsequently decrease by 2.2%, and 1.4% of non-grassland birds die-off. Similarly, 1.6% insect-eating birds are lost, and 1.5% of non-insectivorous species are killed off. Species richness, the number of different bird species in a given area, and species evenness, determined by the relative abundance of different species, also decline as neonicotinoid use increases.   The study acts as a culmination of several threads of ongoing research into the impacts of neonicotinoids on bird populations.'

Farmland Birds’ Exposure to Neonicotinoid-Treated Seeds (during Winter Seeding) Confirmed by Blood Plasma Tests  (Beyond Pesticides, April 16, 2020)    'At the time of this study, clothianidin was the most widely used pesticide on treated winter cereal seeds in the UK.  Thirty-two percent of all surveyed bird species suffered CLO exposure with 15 species of bird consuming CLO-treated seeds, in situ. Researchers detected CLO in 50% of individual blood plasma samples in 10 out of 11 avian species. This study demonstrates the highest logged clothianidin exposure levels for wild birds, thus far.   This study demonstrates that clothianidin toxicity is above foraging birds’ threshold for the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL). 

Baby Bees’ Brain Growth Adversely Affected by Neonicotinoid Insecticides  (Beyond Pesticides, March 6, 2020) This research, however, examines how exposure to the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, through consumption of contaminated nectar and pollen during the larval stage, affects bumblebees (Bombus terrestris audax). It finds that these exposures cause abnormal brain growth in some parts of the bees’ brains, and significantly impairs learning ability compared to bees who were not exposed....The brains of nearly 100 bees were examined, and the team found that an important part of the bee brain involved with learning — the mushroom body — was smaller in those exposed to the neonics. Smaller mushroom body volume is correlated with poorer performance in learning tasks. Bees fed with contaminated food in the larval stage show significantly impaired learning ability compared to those that are not.'The amount of pesticide residue present inside colonies following exposure appears to be an important measure for assessing the impact on a colony’s health in the future.”'Further, bee larvae have been shown to be vulnerable not only to a single pesticide, but also, to synergistic effects of the plethora of pesticides that may end up in the colony’s hive, plus the so-called “inert” ingredients in pesticide compounds. Researchers in one study noted, “One hundred and twenty-one different pesticides and metabolites were identified in the hive with an average of seven pesticides per pollen sample, including miticides, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and insect growth regulators.”    'The amount of pesticide residue present inside colonies following exposure appears to be an important measure for assessing the impact on a colony’s health in the future.”'    SNAP Comment: In my view, if it is affecting the development of bumblebee's brains, there is no reason it can't affect humans. 

Croplands’ Toxicity to Pollinators Has Skyrocketed Since the Turn of the Century   (Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2020) 'Findings indicate that from 1997-2012, contact bee toxic load remained steady, while oral bee toxic load increased nine times, despite significant declines in the overall weight of insecticides applied during that time period.   The trend is particularly pronounced in the U.S. Midwest. According to the study, the widespread use of neonicotinoid seed treatments increased oral bee toxic load by 121 times. Worse yet, there is little to no evidence that these seed treatments are actually managing pest problems.

European Union Bans Neonicotinoid Insecticide, Citing Health and Environmental Concerns   (Beyond Pesticides, January 17, 2020) about the neonicotinoid Thiacloprid.  “There are environmental concerns related to the use of this pesticide, particularly its impact on groundwater, but also related to human health, in reproductive toxicity.” One commercial product in Canada: 'GENERAL INFORMATIONCalypso 480 SC Insecticide is a locally systemic and translaminar insecticide which provides control of insect pests in pome fruit. Calypso 480 SC Insecticide controls insect pests by contact action and by ingestion of the treated plant tissue. '   Pome fruits are apple type fruits and a systemic insecticide that can't be washed off is used on them. I don't believe thiacloprid is covered in the neonicotinoids that Canada will ban in a few years.

Study Finds EU Moratorium of Persistent Bee-Toxic Pesticides Cannot Eliminate Short-Term Hazards  (Beyond Pesticides, December 5, 2019)   'Five years after three neonicotinoids were banned for use on bee-attractive crops in the EU, researchers found that these bee-toxic chemicals are contaminating soils and poisoning the nectar of oilseed rape (canola). The results of this research point to an immediate need to end the use of persistent environmental contaminants and promote organic practices.  They tested for imidaclopridthiamethoxam, and clothianidin residues in the nectar of winter-sown oilseed rape in from 291 oilseed rape fields in western France for five years following the EU moratorium (2014-2018).  Results show all three neonicotinoids were present at least once in the study’s time period. Imidacloprid was detected every year with “no clear declining trend,” though its prevalence fluctuated widely between years. Two samples from 2016 show residues that are five times the expected maximum concentration in nectar of a plant directly treated with imidacloprid.   Risk peaks in 2014 and 2016 indicate that 50% of honey bees were likely to die from imidacloprid on 12% of the study plots. Risk for individual wild bees was even higher.  These data illustrate that the EU moratorium, while viewed as a a critically needed step, cannot in the short-term eliminate risk from persistent pesticides for foraging bees.'

Neonicotinoid Insecticides Deprive Fish of Food in Lake Shinji, Japan  (Beyond Pesticides, November 6, 2019)   '90% drop in their (fish) yield. Eel catches dropped by 74%. New research, published in the journal Science, implicates the introduction of neonicotinoids to the abutting watershed in the decimation of these aquatic populations, stating, “In Lake Shinji, neonicotinoids indirectly reduced fishery yields by decreasing the abundance of invertebrates that serve as food for smelt and eels.”

Toxic Pesticides Found, Again, to Yield No Increase in Productivity or Economic Benefit for Farmers Neonicotinoid-coated (or treated) seeds for soy beans.   (Beyond Pesticides, September 20, 2019) 'The study demonstrates that use of neonicotinoids (neonics) to treat seeds — a very common use of these pesticides — actually provides negligible benefits to soybean farmers in terms of yield and overall economic benefit. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should take notice, and consider that efficacy ought to have a role in the agency’s evaluation of pesticides for registration.''This new research finding underscores Beyond Pesticides’ advocacy against neonic seed treatment, and duplicates some of the findings of a 2014 EPA report, which said that use of treated soybean seed provided little-to-no overall benefit in controlling insects or improving yield or quality in soybean production.'  SNAP Comment: In all the PMRA's or EPA's cost--benefitassessments, the aalleged benefits always trump any negative effects in the final evaluation. Interesting to see here how little benefits..

Neonicotinoid Insecticides: Environmental Occurrence in Soil, Water and Atmospheric Particles  (Chapter 2 of Pesticides book, Avid Science. Renata Raina-Fulton, July 30, 2016) 
'they can partition into the particle phase in the atmosphere or be lost during or subsequent to seeding from soil dust created from planters. Presence of neonicotinoid containing particles in the atmosphere is of concern for direct exposure to bees as well as movement
in the environment such as subsequent deposition into surface waters. Concentrations of neonicotinoids in water, soil and atmospheric particles will be discussed

Insect “Honeydew” Secretions, Contaminated with Neonicotinoid Insecticides then Eaten by Other Insects, and Birds Contribute to an Expansive Threat  (Beyond Pesticides, August 9, 2019)  'Pollinators such as honey bees, solitary bees, bumblebees, and even birds have been observed feeding on honeydew.'  'Results were bad news for beneficial hoverflies and parasitic wasps. Every hoverfly that ate honeydew from the thiamethoxam-sprayed trees died within three days of exposure, compared to 10% of the control group. Of the hoverflies that consumed honeydew from the trees soil-treated with thiamethoxam, nearly 70% died, compared with 14% for the controls. Results for the parasitic wasps were marginally better: more than 50% died after consuming honeydew from both soil- and foliar-treated trees, compared with less than 20% mortality among controls. The honeydew itself was also evaluated: samples from trees treated with thiamethoxam were highly toxic to both species of beneficial insects, and honeydew from those treated with imidacloprid was moderately toxic to hoverflies.'

Same Pesticides that Are Killing Bees Killed Off Dozens of Goldfinches in Modesto, CA, Study Finds  (Beyond Pesticides, July 17, 2019)   'A March 2017 bird kill incident in Modesto, CA can be traced directly back to an insecticide “soil drench” applied to the base of several elm trees by pesticide applicators hired by the city... Researchers autopsied the birds, finding elm seeds and detectable levels of imidacloprid in the gizzard contents (between 2.2-8.5 ppm) and liver tissue (between 2.1-4.8 ppm) of the affected goldfinches, consistent with the presence of imidacloprid on elm seeds found around soil drenched trees....The City of Modesto indicates that applicators followed the label correctly. Consequently, this incident points to a serious, but not unexpected, shortfall in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulation of toxic pesticides.

Study Finds Synergism between Neonicotinoids and Parasites Leads to 70% Declines in Honey Bee Survival  (Beyond Pesticides, June 24, 2019)   After 42 days of spring exposure to neonicotinoids at environmentally relevant concentration, 'researchers looked for differences in response to neonicotinoid exposure depending on individual bees’ status – whether or not they were harboring mites – which varied naturally among individuals in each colony.' 'By the time autumn collections were completed, combined exposure to neonicotinoids and V. destructor were found to cause an astounding 70% reduction in survival, significantly surpassing the effects of either exposure alone. These results have strong implications for overall colony survival.'

As Pesticide Turns Up in More Places, Safety Concerns Mount  A growing body of research is challenging the assumption that neonicotinoids are safer and less likely to spread than other pesticides   (By Jim Daley, Scientific American, April 30, 2019)   'Only 2 to 20 percent of the neonicotinoids applied to seeds make it into the plant, says Jonathan Lundgren... “And we’re starting to find (the other 80-98) in other areas of the environment like surface waters and untreated plants.'  Several of the studies referred to in the article are already on SNAP's web site under wildlife but there is mention of others. Neonicotinoids have also been widely found in foods.  "Morrissey says the problem is not as simple as banning one pesticide or another, though. '“The bigger problem is that we’ve become complacent about using pesticides for everything,” she says. Lundgren says 'meaningful change will have to come from grassroots efforts.'

Flight Distance of Bumblebees Impaired by Pesticide, Leads to 87% Decline in Accessible Forage Area     (Beyond Pesticides, May 6, 2019)    'The study’s researchers find that worker bumblebees so exposed exhibit significant diminishment of flight endurance — measured as both distance and duration — to approximately one-third of what control workers demonstrate.' 

Bee-Toxic Neonicotinoid Insecticide Exposure Linked to Hormone-Dependent Breast Cancer  (Beyond Pesticides, March 7, 2019)  'environmental concentrations of the neonicotinoid insecticides thiacloprid and imidacloprid increase expression of a gene linked to hormone-dependent breast cancer.'  SNAP Comment: Let's also remember that neonicotinoids were conditionally registered, i.e. registered prior to all the mandated tests submitted. In any case, it is likely that the test used in this study is part of the mandated tests as the list dates from 1984.

Scientists warn about the dangerous interaction of plant protection products (ESTONIAN RESEARCH COUNCIL, 12 MAR-2019)   'Using a hymenopteran parasitoid wasp Aphelinus abdominalis (a globally distributed species widely used in biocontrol) as a model, a team of researchers showed the enhanced effect of a low-concentration insecticide (thiacloprid) treatment when combined with various concentrations of a fungicide (tebuconazole). 'SNAP Comment: It is absolutely correct that pesticides are only evaluated one at a time, even when regularly used as a mixture like lawn chemicals (2,4-D,, mecoprop and dicamba)

Drinking Water Contaminated with Neonicotinoid Insecticide Byproducts  (Beyond Pesticides, February 8, 2019)  'The experts discovered two metabolites of imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid insecticide) residues that had not previously been identified in drinking water — desnitro-imidacloprid and imidacloprid-urea. The researchers note both that these metabolites have never been evaluated for their potential risks to human and environmental health, and that there may be potential risks of anthropogenic compounds that can be created when water with neonicotinoid residues, and thus, these metabolites, undergo typical water treatment (often chlorination and/or pH treatment)...The presence of neonics in drinking water is concerning per se, because federal regulators have never addressed what might be “safe” levels of such insecticides in tap water,

Occurrence of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Finished Drinking Water and Fate during Drinking Water Treatment   (Kathryn L. Klarich et al, Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett., 2017, 4 (5), pp 168–173, April 5, 2017)  'Neonicotinoid insecticides are widespread in surface waters across the agriculturally intensive Midwestern United States. We report for the first time the presence of three neonicotinoids in finished drinking water and demonstrate their general persistence during conventional water treatment...Clothianidinimidacloprid, and thiamethoxam were ubiquitously detected in finished water samples at concentrations ranging from 0.24 to 57.3 ng/L Samples collected along the University of Iowa treatment train indicate no apparent removal of clothianidin or imidacloprid, with modest thiamethoxam removal (∼50%). In contrast, the concentrations of all neonicotinoids were substantially lower in the Iowa City treatment facility finished water using granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration. 

Study Finds Bumblebees Increasingly Attracted to the Pesticides that Kill Them  (Beyond Pesticides, August 31, 2018)  'the study indicates that bees may be undertaking the human equivalent of chain-smoking themselves to death.'  'By the end of the experiment, food containing 2 parts per billion of the pesticide was eaten 10% more than in the beginning of the study. Researchers changed the location of the nectar sources throughout the experiment, but bumblebees still sought out the toxic food.'

Amsterdam Leads Bee Recovery Efforts by Banning Bee-Toxic Pesticides, Improving Habitat  (Beyond Pesticides, September 12, 2018)  "A new map published by the city identified 21 bee species not found in an earlier 1998 survey recorded by Amsterdam officials. The increase has been attributed to a range of pollinator-protective measures, including a ban on bee-toxic pesticides and the planting of native flowers, prioritized by the... city government since the turn of the century."  "While the EU recently made indefinite a ban on bee-toxic neonicotinoid insecticides in agriculture, urban spaces have been singled out for the continued risk to pollinators posed by the lawn and garden use of these chemicals. Amsterdam appears to have successfully made up the difference, banning the use of bee-toxic neonicotinoid insecticides on public city property, and encouraging residents and businesses to eliminate their use through brochures and informational pamphlets. Neonicotinoids have been implicated in the decline of wild and managed pollinators, leading governments, both large and small, to impose restrictions on their use.'SNAP Comment: Similarly, I think the proposed Canadian ban of 3 neonicotinoids is mostly on farmland. If it covers outdoor uses, it would still mean that neonicotinoids would make their way to the consumers and the environment through allowed "indoor use" in greenhouses, presumably on food and bedding plants.

Has Ottawa sold out to Big Agro and its toxic chemicals?   (By Bruce Livesey, Canada's National Observer, July 25th 2017) (#1 of 2 articles from the Special Report: Bureau of Poison) SNAP Comment: If pesticides work, why are we using more and more every year? Well researched article.  'According to Statistics Canada, the area of farmland treated with herbicides, insecticides and fungicides increased by 3 per cent, 42 per cent and 114 per cent respectively between 2001 and 2011. In Canada, 100 million kilograms of pesticides were sold in Canada in 2014 – up from 82 million kilograms in 2009.'... 'However, the Auditor General of Canada has carried out three investigations... into the PMRA since 2003 — and found it wanting.' 'In response to the Auditor’s 2015 report, last year the PMRA announced it was going to stop giving conditional registrations – but only on new pesticides, not those currently on the market. This winter, Health Canada began considering phasing out one class of neonicsimidacloprid, due to its impact on aquatic insects – but only over a three-to-five year time frame. '  "Rarely will (PMRA) take a pesticide off the market,” says Cooper. “They will tweak the label or they will add additional requirements or mitigation for the workers or application rates… But you never get to ‘Boy, this thing is bad news’.”    'But more significantly, the PMRA uses a “risk-based” assessment model that critics believe ensures no pesticide could ever be banned. But more significantly, the PMRA uses a “risk-based” assessment model that critics believe ensures no pesticide could ever be banned. '... 'Back in Alvinston, Ontario, Munro Honey continues to struggle to keep its bees alive. While queen bees used to last three to four years, Munro finds now they usually only live a year. '

Popular nicotine-based pesticides pose risk to aquatic insects: Health Canada  (By Kelsey Johnson, ipolitics, Aug 15, 2018)  'Scott Kirby, director general for Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, told reporters the phasing out of all outdoor uses of the neonicotinoid pesticides (thiamethoxam and clothianadinwould occur over three to five years, once the ban is approved. Midges and mayflies are a key food source for birds and fish. The agency started its review of the two pesticides in November 2016. The length of the phase-out, currently subject to a 90-day consultation period, will depend upon whether alternative products are available. PMRA proposed a ban on outdoor uses of imidacloprid in November 2016 amid concerns about the health of mayflies and midges. A final decision is expected in December 2018, Kirby said. None of the proposed bans are currently in effect. All are subjected to public consultation. Final decisions on whether to ban thiamethoxam and clothianadin are expected in 2019.'  SNAP Comment: In their own words, it does not matter how toxic a product is, it has to have a replacement "product' before it is banned. In the meantime, God forbid they ever consider that the 'product' may not be needed at all under other methods of farming that protect biodiversity. The good news is that we can still contribute comments to the public consultation.

Trump administration lifts ban on pesticides linked to declining bee numbers   'The rollback, spelled out in a US Fish and Wildlife Service memo, ends a policy that had prohibited farmers on refuges from planting biotech crops – such as soybeans and corn – engineered to resist insect pests and weed-controlling herbicides.That policy also had barred the use on wildlife refuges of neonicotinoid pesticides, or neonics, in conjunction with GMO crops. Neonics are a class of insecticides tied by research to declining populations of wild bees and other pollinating insects around the world.'

Suburban Bees Still Vulnerable to Neonicotinoids Despite EU Ban  (Beyond Pesticides, August 1, 2018) According to new research from the University of Sussex, bees living in suburban habitats are still being exposed to high levels of neonicotinoid pesticides. Even though there is a European Union (EU) ban on these chemicals, the ban focuses on agricultural and not residential applications. The study’s authors are urging gardeners to forgo the use of these pesticides in favor of more holistic, pesticide-free approaches. 'The authors of the study say it is the first of its kind to highlight the risk to bees in urban areas posed by garden use of pesticides. Entitled Monitoring neonicotinoid exposure for bees in rural and peri-urban areas of the UK during the transition from pre- to post-moratorium, the study sampled pollen and nectar from bumblebee colonies in rural and peri-urban habitats ... over three years. Sampling began prior to the ban (2013), during the initial implementation when some seed-treated winter-sown oilseed rape was still grown (2014), and following the ban (2015). Honey bee colonies in rural habitats were also sampled to compare species-level differences between bumblebees and honey bees.'  SNAP comment: I am not aware of any Canadian study looking at the concentration of neonics in pollen and nectar in urban areas. However, a recent study looking at pesticide contamination of bedding plants have found commercial bedidng plants to be widely contaminated with neonics. In Canada, a quick search (5 August 2018) of the PMRA domestic formulations for a few neonicotinids found many Canadian registered neonicotinoids for treating fleas and lice on pets, but also for ant treatment indoors and out. Many neonicotinoids are licensed for  professionals to use in greenhouses and nurseries insects in lawn, fruit and ornamental trees. Any commercial applicator can use some for treating your lawn, trees or landscape. 

Costco takes stand on insecticides  (Western Producer, 5 July 2018)  'The grocery store chain, with more than 600 stores in the United States and Canada, said in May that it wants producers of fruits, vegetables and garden plants to stop using neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides commonly known as neonics.' 'Suppliers are encouraged to phase out the use of neonicotinoids and chlorpyrifos (an insecticide),” Costco said on its website.'“We seek to partner with suppliers who share our commitment to pollinator health and IPM (integrated pest management).”  SNAP comment: good news. I hope it covers all neonics not only imidacloprid which may be banned by Canada. I don't understand how the PMRA can conclude that a systemic pesticide can be systemic only in some uses. It defies logic: '“Certain uses of products containing imidacloprid result in uptake by plants where it then moves into nectar and/or pollen,” said Scott Kirby, director general of environmental assessment with Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency.'

Neonicotinoids may alter estrogen production in humans (INRS,April 26, 2018,/ by Stéphanie Thibault)   An INRS team publishes the first-ever in vitro study demonstrating the potential effects of these pesticides on human health in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives...The results of the study show an increase in aromatase expression and a unique change in the pattern in which aromatase was expressed, which is similar to that observed in the development of certain breast cancers. (Also filed under cancer/Links between individal chemicals...)

Study disputes popular pesticides’ effectiveness (Globe and Mail, 26 Feb.2018)'A new study raises questions about the effectiveness of the two most popular types of agricultural pesticides, noting overreliance on the chemicals causes environmental harm while doing little to boost crop yields.'..The new paper reviewed more than 200 studies. Researchers found other methods of pest control are more effective and less harmful to the environment. In addition to crop rotation, these methods include planting pest-resistant crops and the purchase of insurance, which is less expensive than pesticides. The paper's authors said they studied neonicotinoids and fipronil because they together hold the largest share of pesticides used around the world. But they cautioned that other pesticides pose threats to the environment and public health.'

Long-term yield trends of insect-pollinated crops vary regionally and are linked to neonicotinoid use, landscape complexity, and availability of pollinators (Heikki M. T. Hokkanen et al,  Arthropod-Plant Interactions, June 2017, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 449–461, First Online: 21 April 2017) a Finnish study. 'It appears that only the uptake of neonicotinoid insecticide seed dressing about 15 years ago can explain the crop yield declines in several provinces, and at the national level for turnip rapeseed, most likely via disruption of pollination services by wild pollinators.' 

A worldwide survey of neonicotinoids in honey   E. A. D. Mitchell1,2,* et al  (Science  06 Oct 2017: Vol. 358, Issue 6359, pp. 109-111)   We assessed the global exposure of pollinators to neonicotinoids by analyzing 198 honey samples from across the world. We found at least one of five tested compounds (acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam) in 75% of all samples, 45% of samples contained two or more of these compounds, and 10% contained four or five. 

Neonicotinoid Seed Coatings Create Exposure Hazards for Honey Bees and Fail to Increase Yields  (Beyond Pesticides, May 31, 2017) This article deals with corn and soy. In Saskatchewan, most of our canola is treated with neonics and U of S studies have shown widespread contamination of sloughs. “There was a misconception that any bees not living near corn were likely to be fine. But that’s not true, and it’s clear that these insecticides are reaching into the places bees forage and putting them at risk.” The research team set up neonic dust collection traps at 12 corn fields around Indiana and collected samples over two years to determine the levels of pesticide dust at increasing distances from the corn field edges. The data demonstrate the movement of neonic residues outside the borders of planted fields, and the researchers estimate that residues on non-target lands and waterways will be deposited on over 42% of the state of Indiana during the corn planting season." 

Common pesticide damages honey bee's ability to fly (phys.org. April 26, 2017)  A study published April 26 in Scientific Reports by UC San Diego postdoctoral researcher Simone Tosi, Biology Professor James Nieh, along with Associate Professor Giovanni Burgio of the University of Bologna, Italy, describes in detail how the neonicotinoid pesticide thiamethoxam damages honey bees. "Our results provide the first demonstration that field-realistic exposure to this pesticide alone, in otherwise healthy colonies, can alter the ability of bees to fly, specifically impairing flight distance, duration and velocity" said Tosi. "Honey bee survival depends on its ability to fly, because that's the only way they can collect food. Their flight ability is also crucial to guarantee crop and wild plant pollination."  another article on same topic Neoniocotinoid Pesticides Impair Bees’ Ability to Fly (Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2017)

Report Documents Threats to Aquatic Life, Calls for Phase-Out of Neonicotinoid Use  (Beyond Pesticides, April 14, 2017) – As pollinators nationwide suffer severe declines tied to widespread exposure to pesticides, particularly a family of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, a new report details the chemicals’ dramatic impacts on aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity. This report coincides with findings of neonicotinoids in drinking water.The new report, Poisoned Waterwaysdocuments the persistence of neonicotinoids in U.S. waterbodies and the danger they cause to aquatic organisms, resulting in complex cascading impacts on aquatic food web. The report supports previous calls for the restriction of neonicotinoid pesticides, given their high toxicity to bees, and now aquatic life. Poisoned Waterways reviews the current scientific literature on the effects of neonicotinoids in waterways and the life they support. The report also highlights current regulatory failures of EPA aquatic standards, which continue to underestimate risks to sensitive species due to a reliance on test protocols that do not reflect real-world exposures or susceptibilities. Further, the impacts of chemical mixtures and synergistic interactions are not considered.

By Killing Beneficial Insects, Neonic-Coated Seeds Increase Pesticide Dependency, Just Like Other Insecticide Applications (Beyond Pesticides, December 16, 2016)  A new meta-analysis has challenged the belief that neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticide seed coatings have little to no effect on the health of beneficial predatory insect populations —on the contrary, researchers have found that the seed coatings impact predatory insects as much as broadcast applications of other insecticides...As predicted, the population of predatory insects are reduced in the plots where coated seeds are planted, compared to the plots that are untreated by insecticides. Additionally, the meta-analysis finds that coated seeds affected predatory insect populations similarly to soil and broadcast applications of pyrethroids.

Expert panel: Should we ban neonicotinoid pesticides? (Evidence for Democracy) "The current scientific evidence on the negative impacts of neonicotinoids on wildlife is very compelling and is growing rapidly. There are numerous peer-reviewed studies showing lethal and sublethal effects on a variety of taxa... As Canadians, I believe we should be thinking about where are agricultural sector is heading and what the implications are for biodiversity and human health."Sheila R. Colla

Half of the Total Decline in Wild Bees throughout the UK Linked to Use of Neonics (Beyond Pesticides, August 18, 2016)  Decline of wild bee populations is linked to the use of toxic, systemic neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides used on oilseed rape (canola), according to new research done by a team of scientists at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the United Kingdom.The study, Impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England, published in the journal Nature Communications, analyzed 18 years of UK national wild bee distribution data for 62 different species, and related it to amounts of neonicotinoid use. NOTE: Interesting for Saskatchewan as canola is a major user of neonic seed treatment.

Insecticides Similar to Nicotine Found in about Half of Sampled Streams across the United States 8/18/2015.U.S. Geological Survey.USGS discovered insecticides known as neonicotinoids in a little more than half of both urban and agricultural streams sampled across the United States and Puerto Rico, according to a study by the agency published today in Environmental Chemistry. “In the study, neonicotinoids occurred throughout the year in urban streams while pulses of neonicotinoids were typical in agricultural streams during crop planting season,” said USGS research chemist Michelle Hladik, the report’s lead author. Also filed under water

Neonicotinoids Hinder Bee’s Ability to Smell Flowers (Beyond Pesticides, June 29, 2015)...'a neonicotinoid pesticide, at sublethal doses, harms this odor memory formation,” Chinese Academy of Science’s Ken Tan, who led the study, told CBS News in an email interview.' 'Published in Nature on June 18, 2015, the study finds that “adults that ingested a single imidacloprid dose as low as 0.1 ng/bee had significantly reduced olfactory learning acquisition, which was 1.6-fold higher in control bees. Bees exposed as larvae to a total dose of 0.24 ng/bee had significantly impaired olfactory learning when tested as adults; control bees exhibited up to 4.8-fold better short-term learning acquisition.” Researchers conclude that this sublethal cognitive deficit caused by low dose exposure to neonicotinoids on a broad range of bee species is cause for further study. also published under Bee Die-off.