• Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops
  • Grow a Lush Garden Organically
  • Learn to Manage Pests Naturally
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods
  • Driving Near Recently Sprayed Fields Exposes People to Pesticides
  • Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides
  • SNAP Tour of Organic Vegetable Garden
  • LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure
  • Link to SK Organic Resources


also see monitoring pesticidesdigestive tract/microbiome and neonicotinoids and wildlife/birds 

Ocean Health: Environmental Pollutants Threaten Humpback Whale Reproduction and Offspring (Beyond Pesticides, December 6, 2022) Persistent organic pollutants (POPs)—including banned pesticides—present a health risk to humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), according to a study published in Environmental Pollution. Regarding female humpback whales, levels of POPs in blubber are higher in juveniles and subadults than in adults, primarily from the transference of contaminants from the mother to her calf. Organochlorine compounds (OCs), such as organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are well-known persistent organic pollutants.     Overall, the most abundant POPs are PCBs, followed by DDTs and chlordane. PCB levels are above the estimated threshold for adverse health effects.   This report demonstrates that exposure to chemical contaminants adversely impacts marine mammal health globally. The study notes specific long-term health concerns among the humpback whale population not described in previous reports, including reproductive toxicity, immune dysfunction, and increased susceptibility to disease.This article also lists other studies listing chemicals that contaminate marine mammal species BPA (plasticiser), the pesticides triclosan and atrazine, and “inert” ingredients from pesticide products

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.

Pesticide Concentration through Metamorphosis Contaminates Birds and Bats   (Beyond Pesticides, April 27, 2022) Pesticides can accumulate in aquatic fly larvae, be retained through metamorphosis, and represent a source of chronic pesticide exposure to birds and bats, according to research published in Environmental Science and Technology earlier this month. ...researchers aimed their study at present use fungicides and herbicides that have not yet undergone similar scrutiny. This includes seven fungicides—azoxystrobin, boscalid, cyflufenamid, fluopyram, tebuconazole, pyrimethanil, and trifloxystrobin—and two herbicides—napropamide and propyzamide. The study notes that formulated end use products, rather than technical grade active ingredients, were used in order to best mimic real world exposure conditions. Exposed midge larvae were then allowed to metamorphosize into adults. After this process, researchers again tested the level of pesticide concentrated in the flies. Adult flies in the medium and high exposure levels all retained pesticides in their bodies, and five of the nine pesticides (trifloxystrobintebuconazoleboscalidpropyzamideazoxystrobin) were also found in adult midges exposed to the lowest treatment levels.   It was determined that roughly 10-94 parts per billion of pesticide per year is moving from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems as a result of this process. ...the researchers find that bats and birds feeding on contaminated midges could result in low to moderate chronic pesticide exposure. SNAP Comment: There are currently 46 pesticides containing azoxystrobin registered in Canada, 19 containing boscalid, 0 with cyflufenamid, 18 with fluopyram, 57with tebuconazole, 6 with pyrimethanil, 28 with trifloxystrobin, 8 with napropamide and 4 with propyzamide. This research is relevant to Canada. Swallows and especially shorebirds depend on aquatic insects.

First Report of Environmental Pollutant Risk Among Tropical Mammals Across the Globe  (Beyond Pesticides, May 5, 2022) A report published in Biological Conservation finds environmental pollutants, including pesticides, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and particulate matter, adversely affect tropical terrestrial wildlife. Specifically, these contaminants can interact with one another, altering the chemical landscape of the ecosystem, and causing changes in the endocrine and microbiome systems of mammals.    With a specific focus on pesticides, the report reinforces that exposure to these toxic chemicals affects wildlife mortality, with sublethal effects weakening species fitness and reproductive rate. Pesticide pollution is increasing in tropical regions, especially in low- and mid-income countries that are home to a high diversity of species... mid-and low-income countries import and manufacture these same chemicals without similar restrictions. For instance, DDT is a legacy pesticide that can persist in the environment for decades. Although many high-income countries ban the use and manufacturing of DDT, low- and mid-income countries many still use the product, leading to further environmental contamination and loss of tropical mammal species... Moreover, there is a lack of research on how chemical pollution from sources like pesticides harms human and wildlife health. 

Topic: Dr. Pierre Mineau | More powerful insecticides, declining insect populations, and bats. What could go wrong?    Time: Feb 02, 2022 13:30 Eastern Time (US and Canada) Presentation to the Canadian Association for the Club of Rome   Interesting presentation reviewing the history of pesticide registration and ending with direct and indirect effects of pesticides on birds and bats. Link to four background documents on neonicotinoid effects on aquatic organisms, on bats, on birds and  in water.

Conventional Agriculture Decreases Diversity of Gut Bacteria in Foraging Bats (Beyond Pesticides, September 29, 2021) Bats foraging in chemical-intensive banana plantations have much less gut diversity than bats foraging in organic banana fields and natural forestland, finds research published this month in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution..  Gut diversity in organic bats was found to be similar to the diversity analyzed in forest bats. The study indicates that it is likely that organic practices are maintaining a “high diversity of commensal microbiota,” while on the other hand, “less diverse gut microbiota in bats foraging in conventional monocultures may suggest that these habitats potentially have negative physiological consequences for the animals (e.g., gut inflammation and metabolic disease), and may act as ecological trap.”

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 farmland these days.

Endangered Florida Manatees Contaminated with Glyphosate/Roundup Due to Widespread Use   (Beyond Pesticides, March 30, 2021) Florida manatees are experiencing chronic glyphosate exposure that is likely to impact their immune system and make them more susceptible to other environmental stressors such as red tide and cold stress... Results found glyphosate in the bodies of 55.8% of Florida manatee samples. Most concerning, the amount of pesticide increased in a straight line over the course of the study.  Authors of the study indicate that it is appropriate to consider glyphosate a “pseudo-persistent” pollutant, “in which new applications of the herbicide replace the molecules that are being removed,” the study reads.'

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.”

filed under wiildlfe/mammals and neonicotinoids

Aggressive Cancer in Sea Lions Linked to Ocean Pollution and Herpesvirus Precursor, Implications for Human Health    (Beyond Pesticides, February 11, 2021) California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) are experiencing high rates of urogenital carcinoma (UGC) cancer incidences from the combined effect of toxic “legacy” pesticides like DDT and the viral infection Otarine herpesvirus-1 (OtHV1), according to a new study published in Frontiers in Marine Science. Previous research documents the role herpesvirus infection, genotype, and organochlorine pesticides play in sea lion cancer development. However, synergism (collaboration) between viral infection and toxic chemical exposure increases cancer development odds.  “This study has implications for human health, as virally associated cancer occurs in humans, and likelihood of cancer development could similarly be increased by exposure to environmental contaminants. Efforts to prevent ecosystem contamination with persistent organic pollutants must be improved to protect both wildlife and human health.”

New Test Will Help Researchers Understand Pesticide Threats to Wild Bat Populations   (Beyond Pesticides, December 10, 2020) 'A new test developed by a team of Mexican and Canadian scientists will help field researchers detect early warning signs of pesticide exposure in wild bat populations.  The test in question is referred to as a micronucleus test. Although it does not measure the level of pesticide contaminating a bat’s body, it can assess genotoxicity (the effect of pesticides and other chemical agents that damage genetic information in a cell). This is done by taking blood samples of bats, and testing for the presence of micronuclei formation, which are materials in blood that contain damaged chromosomes not incorporated into a cell after cell division. What little research that has been conducted on the harm pesticides cause to bats shows significant cause for concern. Agricultural pesticide use results in a large proportion of a bat’s insect diet being contaminated with highly toxic chemicals. Bats are particularly sensitive to pesticides that bioconcentrate in fat (lipophilic pesticides); they develop large stores to use while migrating or hibernating, and high concentrations of toxic pesticides in this fat can result in significant poisoning as the body burns it off.  Despite the unique ways in which pesticides harm bats, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not evaluate a pesticide’s effect on bats prior to registration.   Because bats are unusually long-lived for animals their size — lifespans range from 20 to 40 years — their bodies can accumulate pesticide residues over a long period, exacerbating adverse effects associated with those pesticides that can accumulate in fatty tissue.' A bat's 'consumption of large volumes of pesticide-contaminated insects can mean that these compounds may reach toxic levels in their brains — making them more susceptible to White Nose Syndrome.'.

Primates, Both Wild and Captive, Are Being Exposed to Toxic Pesticides and Flame Retardants    (Beyond Pesticides, September 15, 2020) Both wild and captive primates are being exposed to hazardous pesticides and flame retardants, according to research published this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. This is the first study to look at the threat anthropogenic (man-made) chemicals may present for this important order of animals.   Scientists discovered legacy pesticides (such as heptachlor, DDT, hexachlorohexane, chlordane, and related compounds) in every species tested, with the highest levels found in red colobus and red-tailed monkeys. In particular, DDT and its related compounds (DDD and DDE) were found to be widespread, with red colobus monkeys registering a median of 260 ppb DDE in its waste. Current use pesticides were only detected in the feces of primates from the United States and Costa Rica. Over half of these animals have chlorpyrifos pass through their bodies. Baboons in the Indiana sanctuary are the only population exposed to synthetic pyrethroidsFlame retardant exposure is also widespread, with the chemical tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate the most widely detected.

Study Finds that Commonly Occurring Levels of Neonicotinoid Insecticide Harm White-tailed Deer   (Beyond Pesticides, March 22, 2019) ..."Field-relevant contamination with the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid causes reduced body weight and metabolism in white-tailed deer, and – in fawns – mortality. Remarkably, researchers uncovered imidacloprid levels in free-ranging deer a full 3.5 times higher, on average, than the levels in the animals treated in their experiment.

Glyphosate on feed affects livestock: vet (Western Producer, 19 October 2017)  A veterinarian in Shaunavon, Sask., believes feed with glyphosate residue adversely affects cattle health. Dr. Ted Dupmeier, who operates his own practice at Shaunavon, told about 50 people at a recent event he called an awareness seminar that he began investigating after being unable to diagnose problems in a dairy herd in which cows were inexplicably dying. He said after removing feed that had been sprayed with glyphosate the problems were resolved.  SNAP Comment: Positive that this story was actually worth an article in the Western Producer. This 'anecdote" supports the facts presented in the video Poisoned Fields - Glyphosate, the underrated risk? (HD 1080p)  (Jan 25, 2016)

Rod Cumberland - Presentation on the effects of glyphosate on deer (YouTube video, 45 minutes)  A New Brusnwick deer biologist explains how he researched the problem of the tumbling New Brunswick deeer population and what he found. Softwood tree plantations sprayed with RoundUp to eliminate any other growth are the culprit. No food left for deer or most other species. Indirect effect but massive. Very interesting. the kind of thing one suspects, but to find someone who investigated it is great. A new piece in the puzzle of how we destroy the earth that sustains us.

Rodent bait from oilsands poisoning animals commonly trapped in Alberta Oilsands companies respond by banning rodent poison (David Thurton · CBC News December 2, 2016)   25 per cent of fishers and 10 per cent of martens had detectable levels of the poison. The research also traced the restricted rodent poison Bromadiolone to its use in nearby oilsands operations."Those animals that were sampled were the animals healthy enough to pursue prey and then be captured on the trapline. So obviously those sick and lethargic animals we are not sampling," Thomas said. As a result, 25 companies voluntarily stopped using the poison researchers found in martens and fishers.

The High Cost of Pesticides: Human and Animal DiseasesHoy et al., Poult Fish Wildl Sci 2015, 3:1. A very important article documenting that the degradation of health in wildlife and humans correlates very well with glyphosate use in general, with a turn for the worse when salt formulations started to be used. The article also discusses other pesticides such as the fungicide chlorothalonil and the herbicides 2,4-D and dicambaIt deals with birth defects, endocrine disruption and studies hospital descharge rates for various conditions. It nalyses the mechanisms of action.

'Because much of the wildlife data is from deer fawns, most of the human data presented here involve newborn infants, but we also present some data for children 0-15 years old and for the full population (except newborn)We found many diseases and conditions whose hospital discharge rates match remarkably well with the rate of glyphosate usage on corn, nder wildlife/mammalssoy, and wheat crops. These include head and face anomalies (R=0.95), newborn eye disorders, newborn blood disorders (R=0.92), newborn skin disorders (R=0.96), lymph disorders in children 0-15 (R=0.86) and in the general population except newborn (R=0.89), congenital heart conditions in newborns (R= 0.98), enlarged right ventricle in all age groups except newborn (R=0.96), newborn lung problems (R=0.95), pulmonary bleeding and edema for all age groups except newborn (R=0.97), liver cancer for all age groups except newborn (R=0.93), newborn metabolic disorders (R=0.95) and newborn genitourinary disorders (R=0.96). Also filed under health  and pesticide factsheets/glyphosate