• Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder and How to Protect Bees
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods
  • Learn to Manage Pests Naturally
  • Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops
  • SNAP Tour of Organic Vegetable Garden
  • LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure
  • Driving Near Recently Sprayed Fields Exposes People to Pesticides
  • Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Link to SK Organic Resources
  • SNAP Display at Event


see also glyphosateneonicotinoidsatrazinewaterexposure to pesticidespesticide usewater/SK, neonicotinoidshealth/overview

MammalsReptiles and Terrestrial Invertebrates pages. See left hand side menu for more pages          also see  forestry/urban trees, climate changehealth, and wildlife section

Wide Range of Harmful Effects of Pesticides Documented in Literature Review    (Beyond Pesticides, April 25, 2024) In a study from earlier this year, “Pesticides: An alarming detrimental to health and environment,” scientists compiled research from 154 articles regarding pesticide use and the adverse effects they have on the environment and human health. 

Petrochemical Pesticides and Fertilizers Linked to “Shocking” Health and Environmental CrisesToday, Beyond Pesticides released a special issue, Transformative Change: Informed by Science, Policy, and Action of its journal, Pesticides and You, with a compendium of “shocking scientific findings that compel us to act in our communities, states, and as a nation and world community.” The 168-page issue documents the last year of scientific, peer-reviewed articles, policy deficiencies, and action for change that intersect not only with petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers, but with existential health crises, biodiversity collapse, and the climate emergency.  Included in the issue of reviews of published articles spanning three categories—health, biodiversity, and climate.

Pesticide Spraying of Urban Trees Found to Disrupt Natural Biological Management of Landscapes  (Beyond Pesticides, November 16, 2022) Putting up with moderate pest levels can attract and maintain predators and parasitoids that provide important biological control services throughout the landscape, according to research recently published in Environmental Entomology.  In general, shrubs underneath scale infested trees contain significantly more pest predators than those underneath uninfested trees. This difference built over the course of sampling time, with three day samples showing less difference than nine day samples.   These findings underscore the importance of patience and timing within the natural pest management approach.   “Treating a tree with pesticides could kill off natural enemies that would otherwise help manage nearby pests. In other words, treating a tree with pesticides could alleviate pest problems within the tree but could result in pest outbreaks in shrubs beneath the tree as natural enemies are killed off.”   SNAP COMMENT: Makes sense. Unsure how it translates to urban plantings with no shrubs. Does that mean that planting trees spaced in rows by themselves makes them more susceptible to pests?

Biodiversity and Multifunctional Landscapes  (Lucas Alejandro Garibaldi, PhD, Biodiversity session, National Pesticide Forum, Beyond Pesticides, Health, Biodiversity and Climate, a Path for a Livable future, 12 October 2022), and Bob Quinn, PhD, farmer and miller (Montana Flour and Grains) in Big Sandy, Montana has lived the value of organic food production and land management since the full conversion of his 2,400-acre family farm in Montana in 1989.. The whole presentation can also be found at Beyond Pesticides national forum recordings 2022. The link above is to Beyond Pesticides Youtube channel.    Dr Garibaldi, PhD, Is part of an international community of scientists both documenting the existential biodiversity crisis and calling for transformative change. He is a contributor to the IPBES report and co-chair the Transformative Change Assessment, which is charged with outlining the options for achieving the 2050 vision for biodiversity. The Solution: The IPBES report endorses the transition away from pesticide-laden agricultural practices and toward sustainable agriculture to meet the challenges of protecting and enhancing biodiversity. Organic land management systems that eliminate fossil fuel-based toxic pesticides and fertilizers makes a substantial contribution in addressing the dire threat to biodiversity. 

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.

Pesticides Exacerbate the Threats of Biodiversity Collapse and the Climate Emergency     (Beyond Pesticides, July 7, 2022) A review article published in the International Journal on Environmental Sciences highlights how pervasive pesticide exposure and climate change threaten global species biodiversity.

Invertebrates and Plants Face Increasing Threat from Pesticide Use, Despite Declining Chemical Use Patterns    Pesticide use threatens aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates and plants more than ever, despite declining chemical use and implementation of genetically engineered (GE) crops in the U.S., according to a University Koblenz-Landau, Germany study.' Although the new generation of pesticides (e.g., neonicotinoids, pyrethroids) pesticides are more target-specific, requiring lower chemical concentrations for effectiveness, they have over double the toxic effects on invertebrates, like pollinators....'The study results find a decrease in total pesticide amounts by volume on U.S. farms by 40 percent over the last 25 years. Although bird and mammal toxicity decreases with a reduction in pesticide use (95 percent), invertebrates experience higher toxicity levelsPyrethroid insecticides cause toxicity to double among aquatic invertebrates. Neonicotinoid insecticides present double the risk to terrestrial invertebrates. Overall, pesticide toxicity for terrestrial plants is highest regardless of whether fields are conventional, non-GE, or GE  see also  Pesticides are becoming increasingly toxic for the world's most important insects The toxicity of 381 pesticides in the U.S. more than doubled for pollinators and aquatic invertebrates over the past two decades.(PANNA, May 18, 2021)

Pet flea treatments poisoning rivers across England, scientists find (The Guardian, 17 November 2020)   Discovery is ‘extremely concerning’ for water insects, and fish and birds that depend on them.    The research found fipronil in 99% of samples from 20 rivers and the average level of one particularly toxic breakdown product of the pesticide was 38 times above the safety limit. Fipronil and another nerve agent called imidacloprid that was found in the rivers have been banned from use on farms for some years (NOTE: In the UK, not Canada) .  There are about 10 million dogs and 11 million cats in the UK, with an estimated 80% receiving flea treatments, whether needed or not. The researchers said the blanket use of flea treatments should be discouraged and that new regulation is needed. Currently, the flea treatments are approved without an assessment of environmental damage.  "Fipronil is one of the most commonly used flea products and recent studies have shown it degrades to compounds that are more toxic to most insects than fipronil itself..." "The problem is these chemicals are so potent," he said, even at tiny concentrations. “We would expect them to be having significant impacts on insect life in rivers.” One flea treatment of a medium-sized dog with imidacloprid contains enough pesticide to kill 60 million bees, he said.   The researchers found the highest levels of the pesticides downstream from water treatment plants, showing that urban areas were the main source and not farmland.   The washing of pets was already known to flush fipronil into sewers and then rivers, while dogs swimming in rivers provides another pathway for contamination. see also Flea Treataments Found to Contaminate Waterways.(Beyond Pesticides, November 20, 2020)for more in depth analysis. 'Though these compounds are banned for agricultural uses in the United Kingdom (UK), risk assessment for them, as used on animals, has been minimal because of the assumption that the amounts used for veterinary treatments would mean far-less-significant environmental impact than might be expected with agricultural-scale use."  SNAP Comment: As of 19 November 2020, the PMRA label search indicates that fipronil was never registered in Canada. Research indicates that may formulations are licensed in the USA for a wide variety of usages, likely including flea treatment. In Canada, there are 99 registered insecticides containing Imidacloprid, 50 of which are specifically for flea treatment. 

Pesticide Use Harming Key Species Ripples through the Ecosystem (Pesticides and You, summer 2018)    'Halstead et al. (2017) incorporated these data into epidemiological models to determine the risk of disease transmission in real world scenarios. It was determined that while atrazine caused a 28% increase in schistosomiasis transmission risk by indirectly increasing snail populations, the loss of crayfish and water bug predators were catastrophic for human health, leading to a 10-fold expected increase in parasitic infection. On the other hand, in healthy mesocosms unexposed to either pesticide, predator populations were able to adequately maintain snail numbers below thresholds for disease transmission.     In both still and fast-moving aquatic environments, pesticides act powerfully on the foundational levels of the food web. Although algae blooms are usually considered the result of excess nutrient input, it could also be the case that a recent insecticide application eliminated all of the herbivorous grazing macroinvertebrates. Likewise, declines in threatened predators like otters could be related to impacts two steps down the food chain, if the fish on which they rely have declined due to pesticide-induced reductions in their prey.   During the first month after seed treatment (with neonics) in a soybean field, slug predation was reduced by 33%, slug activity increased by nearly 70%, and, over the course of the season, soybean yields were down 19%. '    The EPA and PMRA agencies must develop a “No Observed Adverse Effect Level” for ecosystems. Many other examples presented in the article.

Environmental Groups Are Victorious in Lawsuit that Pushes EPA to Protect Endangered Species  (Beyond Pesticides, October 31, 2019)   'Last week the U.S. District Court in San Francisco ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must assess the risk eight toxic pesticides pose to protected organisms: atrazine, carbaryl, methomyl, and simazine as well as rodenticides brodifacoum, bromadiolone, warfarin and zinc phosphide. "It is inappropriate that environmental groups are forced to expend time and resources in order to get EPA to simply do its job as the law requires," says Barbara Dale, Public Education Manager at Beyond Pesticides. also includes some alarming “fun” facts on a few of these toxic chemicals.'

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.'

EPA Finds Atrazine Threatens Ecological Health (Beyond Pesticides, May 10, 2016) EPA’s preliminary ecological risk assessment finds that for current uses at prescribed label rates, atrazine may pose a chronic risk to fish, amphibians, and aquatic vertebrate animals. Where use is heavy, the agency indicates that chronic exposure through built-up concentrations in waterways is likely to adversely impact aquatic plant communities. Levels of concern, a wonky equation that EPA produces to measure risk, were exceeded for birds by 22x, fish by 62x, and mammals by 198x. Even reduced label rates were expected to harm terrestrial plant species as a result of runoff and drift from pesticide applications. It is important to note that these impacts were seen for uses which, based on data obtained during atrazine’s last review 15 years ago, EPA considered to be “safe” when used according to label rates.SNAP's note: I don't believe much atrazine is used in Saskatchewan but perhaps its use in increasing with an increase in corn and soy crops. There are no pesticide use data in Canada and the Pesticide Sales data yearly report is for several years previously and not very informative on individual chemicals. A recent study of Calgary air and soil found atrazine. Before SNAP was started, I obtained the list of allowable Weed and Feed products (not from the PMRA as they are regulated somewhere else) and found one product on the market containing atrazine. The PMRA answer was standard: they were following the PMRA rules and no idea if they would follow up on my discovery or ignore it totally.

Neonicotinoids: The New DDT?   27 minutes video from Earth Focus. Oct 13, 2014. Up to date scientific info on effects of neonics on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including the marine ecosystem.

New Four-Year Scientific Analysis: Systemic Pesticides Pose Global Threat to Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Press Release from the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, 24 June 2014) The analysis, known as the Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA),  to be published in the peer reviewed Journal Environment Science and Pollution Research, finds that neonics pose a serious risk of harm to honeybees and other pollinators such as butterflies and to a wide range of other invertebrates such as earthworms and vertebrates such as birds Pesticides linked to bee deaths must be banned, scientists sayNeonicotinoids, fipronil linked to ecosystem damage in new report By Aleksandra Sagan (CBC News,Jun 24, 2014) includes video.

Honey Bee Diseases Threaten Bumblebees; Late Breaking: EPA Announces New Protections for Farmworkers (Beyond Pesticides, February 21, 2014The study gives credence to recent research demonstrating that pesticide use compromises immune system functioning, dramatically raising their susceptibility to diseases.

Immune suppression by neonicotinoid insecticides at the root of global wildlife declinesMason, R., H. et al. 2013.Journal of Environmental Immunology and Toxicology; In Press September/October 2012. The authors  postulate that many of the severe epizootic diseases that seem to arise with alarming frequency result of immune suppression resulting from low level exposure to neonicotinoids. More on neonicotinoids at http://www.snapinfo.ca/issues/bee-die-off,  http://www.snapinfo.ca/info/fact-sheetshttp://www.snapinfo.ca/info/wildlife/ birds and amphibians and water/Saskatchewan

Beyond Pesticides Archive for the 'Wildlife/Endangered Sp.' Category