• Grow a Lush Garden Organically
  • SNAP Display at Event
  • Learn to Manage Pests Naturally
  • Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder and How to Protect Bees
  • Link to SK Organic Resources
  • SNAP Tour of Organic Vegetable Garden
  • Driving Near Recently Sprayed Fields Exposes People to Pesticides
  • LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods

Neonicotinoids 2

Also see neonicotinoids 1,  SNAP's bee die-off pagewildlife section/aquatic invertebratesbirdsfishinsects/neonicotinoids, and amphibianswaterwater /Saskatchewan,  wildlife sectionwildlife/mammals,  foodhealth/nervous systemcancercancer/links, liver legislation/regulatory/Canada,pesticide usepetswildlifelegislationsafetyLegal/litigationchildren/neonicotinoids, Legislation/Regulatory/Canada,

Seeds Coated with Neonicotinoid Insecticides Again Identified as an Important Factor in Butterfly Decline (Beyond Pesticides, June 28, 2024)  ...' insect populations globally are declining two to four percent a year, with total losses over 20 years of 30-50 percent, according to a new study of the interacting effects of pesticides, climate, and land use changes on insects’ status in the Midwest....   Of the three drivers of insect loss, the study confirmed unequivocally that insecticides lead the pack in causing the loss of richness and abundance in Midwest butterfly species, particularly monarchs. “Overall declines are overwhelmingly supported by the evidence,” they write. Monarchs, bumblebees, dragonflies and lowland butterflies all drop catastrophically in areas where pesticides are used.   And while the steep crash of monarch butterflies coincides neatly with the introduction of glyphosate, the authors note that while herbicides reduce habitat diversity sharply, they do not directly kill insects like pesticides do. The study’s end result was clear: seeds coated with neonicotinoids are causing the most damage. Study published in PLos One.

Study Confirms Continued Bird Decline as EPA Fails to Restrict Neonicotinoid Insecticides  (Beyond Pesticides, July 21, 2023)   A comprehensive and scathing report, “Neonicotinoid insecticides: Failing to come to grips with a predictable environmental disaster,” issued by American Bird Conservancy (ABC) in June, lays out the dire consequences of neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides’ continued use. The report is an update of an earlier review from 2013, which warned of the risks to birds, stating starkly: “A single corn kernel coated with a neonicotinoid can kill a songbird. Even a tiny grain of wheat or canola treated with the oldest neonicotinoidimidacloprid, can poison a bird. As little as 1/10th of a corn seed per day during egg-laying season is all that is needed to affect reproduction with any of the neonicotinoids registered to date.

Western Bumblebee Declines a Result of Pesticides and Climate Change, No End in Sight    (Beyond Pesticides, January 25, 2023) Populations of the western bumblebee are in free fall, with 57% declines across the species’ historical range, finds new research led by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey. These data are in line with trends for other once common bumblebees in the United States, like the rusty patched and American, of which the former is now listed as endangered and the latter is under consideration.   In regard to pesticide stressors, the study focuses only on the application of neonicotinoid pesticides within the species range. Without considering other pesticide stressors, occupancy in regions where neonicotinoid applications occurred are 35% lower than areas where these chemicals are not sprayed. Not only are they lower, but scientists found trends to indicate that local populations decrease alongside increasing neonicotinoid use.

Neonicotinoid Insecticides Adversely Affect Nervous System Health, According to Study   (Beyond Pesticides, January 19, 2023) Chinese study. 'Research published in Environmental Health Perspectives finds the presence of nine various neonicotinoids (neonics) and six neonic metabolites within human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).   Researchers collected CSF samples from patients experiencing similar symptoms with a different disease/clinical diagnosis (i.e., “mostly viral encephalitis, encephalitis other than viral encephalitis, leukemia, cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral laceration, urinary tract infection, respiratory failure, pulmonary tuberculosis, and posterior circulation ischemia”).  Ninety-nine percent of the 314 CSF samples contain at least one neonic. Of the 314 CSF samples, nine percent (28) have a single neonic compound, 84 percent (265) have between 2 and 6, and six percent (19) have between 7 and 10 neonic compounds. Nine of these neonics in CSF samples are nitenpyram (NIT), thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, acetamiprid (ACE), thiacloprid, clothianidin, flonicamid, imidaclothiz, and sulfoxaflor. Additionally, six neonic metabolites are present in CSF: N-desmethyl-thiamethoxam, olefin-imidacloprid, 5-hydroxy-imidacloprid, N-desmethyl-acetamiprid (N-dm-ACE), thiacloprid-amide, and 6-chloronicotinic acid.

Study Connects Neonicotinoids to Liver Damage Ignored by EPA    (Beyond Pesticides, January 11, 2022) Neonicotinoid insecticides can have detrimental effects on liver health, according to research published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials. (Chinese study)    Scientists determined the amount of eight neonicotinoids in bile samples, including acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, imidaclothiz, nitenpyram, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam.  Researchers found that neonicotinoids are neither metabolized by the liver nor excreted by urine. Of all samples taken, at least one neonicotinoid was detected in 99% of individuals tested. However, different neonicotinoids were found to act in different ways. While the detection of acetamiprid was low (1% of samples), 97% contained nitenpyram. The widely used insecticide dinotefuran was detected in 86% of bile. Detections did not appear to differ between participants of different health backgrounds.(cancer vs control).   The results led scientists to believe that neonicotinoids found in bile will eventually be absorbed again by the intestines, make their way into blood, and eventually one’s liver. Biomarkers tested, such as cholesterol, bilirubin, and bile acids, were found to correlate with higher concentrations of certain neonicotinoids. Of the various neonicotinoids, dinotefuran, thiamethoxam, and clothianidin were found to pose the greatest risk to liver health.

Neonicotinoid Insecticides Add to the Growing List of Chemicals that Transfer between Mother and Fetus    (Beyond Pesticides, January 4, 2022) A study published in Environmental Science and Technology finds neonicotinoids (neonics) and their breakdown products (metabolites), like other chemical pesticide compounds, can readily transfer from mother to fetus.      Levels of five neonics (acetamiprid, imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam) and two metabolites of acetamiprid and imidacloprid were measured.   The most abundant neonic in mothers’ serum (MS) and cord serum (CS) samples is imidacloprid, whereas acetamiprid’s metabolite is the most abundant in CS and MS. Both parent and metabolite neonics have a high ransplacental transfer efficiencies (TTE), with imidacloprid having the highest transfer rate (1.61)Even the neonic with the lowest TTE of 0.81, thiamethoxam, is within the high TTE range, indicating proficient placental transfer of these chemicals from mother to fetus. Researchers identify that transplacental transfer of these chemicals mainly occurs through passive mechanisms depending on chemical structure. 

Synthetic Fertilizers and Pesticides Make Plants Less Attractive to Bumblebees, Research Shows   (Beyond Pesticides, November 15, 2022) 'Spraying a flowering plant with synthetic fertilizers makes it less attractive to bumblebees, according to research published this month in PNAS Nexus.  “A big issue is thus—agrochemical application can distort floral cues and modify behaviour in pollinators like bees,” said study author Ellard Hunting, PhD, of the University of Bristol, UK.  The experiment was then repeated with a rooted, still growing flowering plant (Jacobaea vulgaris), and this time researchers measured the electrical field around the flower. Scientists found that fertilizers increase the flower’s electric field, which then slowly returned to its previous state.  While water resulted in a change in stem potential that lasted up to a minute, synthetic fertilizers changed stem potential for 16 minutes, and the neonicotinoid imidacloprid showed alterations that lasted for up to 25 minutes. These measurements aligned directly with observed declines in bumblebee foraging interest in flowers recently sprayed with the agrichemcials. The authors note, “Since many chemicals used in agriculture and horticulture carry an electric charge, the observed mechanism could potentially be relevant for a wide array of chemicals.”   “The fact that fertilisers affect pollinator behavior by interfering with the way an organism perceives its physical environment offers a new perspective on how human-made chemicals disturb the natural environment,” Dr. Hunting notes.  These results fly in the face of outdated toxicological approaches that agrichemical companies hide behind when confronted with the on the ground impacts of their dangerous products, such as 15th century Paracelsian concept that “dose makes the poison.” '

Breast Cancer Month: Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Breast Cancer Risk (Triple Negative Breast Cancer)  (Beyond Pesticides, October 27, 2022) A study published in Environment International adds to the growing body of research evaluating the association between neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics/NIs) and breast cancer... this study is one of the few to evaluate the toxicological and molecular mechanisms involved in initiating breast cancer events.  The study evaluates the activity of seven neonics on the GPER pathway using a calcium mobilization assay. The seven neonics include thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, thiacloprid, clothianidin, acetamiprid, and dinotefuran. Of the seven neonicsclothianidin, acetamiprid, and dinotefuran bind most strongly and activate GPER, thus indicating these chemicals induce breast cancer cell migration. Thus, GPER is a potential molecular target for the estrogenic disruption of neonicotinoids. Overall, the study demonstrates that neonics promote breast cancer progression through the GPER pathway at human-related exposure levels.   SNAP Comment: All are registered in Canada, except nitenpyram.

Tackling the Environmental Challenges of Rising Pesticide Use in Canada   By Dr Christy Morrissey (University of SK), UNBC-NRESI Colloquium Series, 14 October, 2022)  (University of Northern British Columbia colloquium series) 

Great one hour video presentation by Dr Morrissey. Worth watching. Lots of graphs with information new to me: like 

  • the area treated (Canadian Census of Agriculture) maps for herbicide, fungicide and insecticide. Prairies saw a 58% increase in herbicides, 50% (conservative estimate) insecticides and 412% more fungicides. Also increase in BC, S. ON and everywhere in Canada. (@6 min 40). According to her data, SK uses 80% of all Canadian pesticides.
  • Landscape simplification drives higher pesticide use, especially insecticides.
  • risk of wetland contamination very high in most of areas of Prairies because of seed treatment, which is also the main reason for increased pesticide use.
  • Fungicides in seed treatment are used to potentiate the insecticide, not for disease prevention.
  • SK study relating increased pesticide residues in wetlands with reduced insect diversity and numbers.
  •  it takes only 15 minutes for Red-winged Blackbird to feel really sick from eating neonicotinoid treated seeds and quit eating (equivalent to 4 canola seeds). so whether it survives or not, depends on how much it ate.There is a razor-thin margin between losing body mass and dying.

Trouble for Bambi: Neonic Levels in Wild Deer Spiking in Minnesota Raise Contamination Concerns   (Beyond Pesticides, September 7, 2022) Neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides are causing widespread contamination within deer populations in Minnesota, with recent data showing significant increases over sampling that took place just two years earlier.  Results of the 2019 sampling showed ubiquitous contamination of deer spleens throughout the state. Of 799 deer spleens analyzed that year, 61% of them contained neonics. The 2021 results focus in on the southwest area of the state, where there is more farming and forestland. Of the 496 samples tested in that area, 94% of samples analyzed find neonics... Not only did prevalence of the chemicals increase, so did concentration. The research conducted on neonics and deer in South Dakota determined that a body burden of neonics over .33 parts per billion represents a risk threshold for adverse effects. At this level, exposed fawns in laboratory experiments died... But the latest (Minnesota) findings show 64% of neonic detections above this level.'   SNAP Comment: I haven't heard of anyone checking for this in Saskatchewan. Certainly, almost all canola seeds are treated and likely more crops.

UK overrules scientific advice by lifting ban on bee-harming pesticide ( The Guardian, 1 March 2022)   Campaigners aghast as emergency exemption on use of thiamethoxam granted due to risk to sugar beet crop.

Neonic Nation: Is Widespread Pesticide Use Connected To Grassland Bird Declines?   (By Scott Weidensaul, Summer 2022 issue of Living Bird magazine, June 24, 2022)    Good review of effect of DDT and other insecticides on birds with updated data on effects of neonics on birds. Also touches of regulations in Europe and North America and Quebec's novel approach to reducing seed treatment.

Why Did Health Canada Change Their Mind About Neonics?   (Canadian Wildlife Federation blog, May 18, 2022)   In 2018, the PMRA recommended that ALL agricultural, ornamental and greenhouse uses be cancelled and phased out over a three to five year period.  This is why, in spring 2021, we were shocked when Health Canada did a complete about-face. Suddenly, these pesticides that were so hazardous to aquatic life that their use needed to be terminated, were deemed “largely acceptable with some mitigation.”    The agricultural chemical industry provided the PMRA with additional data on contamination levels in the prairies, and these data were used by the federal government to base their reversal decision. While that is not in and of itself a bad thing, these data are now considered to be proprietary by the government. 

Neonic Pesticides: Potential Risks to Brain and Sperm  (Jennifer Sass, PANNA,January 06, 2021) where CDC biomonitoring indicates over 50% of the US population is regularly exposed to neonics as evidenced by their breakdown productsi urine. Neonics have been linked to birth defects, developmental neurotoxicity, reduced thyroid function, sensorimotor deficits in rats, and poor sperm qhalityand quantity.   SNAP Comment:   the article does a good job of exploring the various routes of exposure, except one: neonics in flea collars for pets (Seresto brand in the US) and monthly liquid treatments for fleas and lice for pets which form most of the imidacloprid labels in Canada.

Pollinators and Biodiversity panel. 57 minutes video'This workshop panel was recorded live on June 8th 2021 as part of the Beyond Pesticides Virtual Forum. The panel is moderated by Joyce Kennedy - People & Pollinators Action Network and featuring: Steve Ellis - Old Mill Honey Company Aimee Code - Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and Vera Krischik, PhD - Department of Entomology at the St. Paul, University of Minnesota Pollinators are in unrelenting devastating decline.