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Ecosystem and Food Supply Threatened by Toxic Neonicotinoids

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Millions Against Monsanto page, Food Safety Research Center page and our Health Issues page.

Research has shown that many pesticides are neurotoxic and can cause disruptions to your neurological system and your brain. The reason why neurotoxins still enjoy widespread use on our food supply is really more about the bottom line for farming operations than it is about the science of human health.

Research has clearly and consistently linked pesticide exposure to Parkinson's disease. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also considers 30 percent of insecticides to be carcinogenic.

All of these toxic chemicals are permitted on farms growing conventional and genetically engineered crops, and a large number of them can end up on your plate when you purchase conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables and/or processed foods.

But pesticides also have a dramatic impact on the health of our ecosystem. Neonicotinoids, such as Imidacloprid and Clothianidin, kill insects by attacking their nervous systems. These are known to get into pollen and nectar, and can damage beneficial insects such as bees.

These toxic chemicals have been implicated as one of the primary culprits in the mass die-offs of bees, and have subsequently been banned in some countries. The United States, however, is not among these countries...

But the effects of neonicotinoids do not end there. According to recent research by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the use of neonicotinoids in seed treatments is also responsible for the death of birds, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates and other wildlife.

Ecosystem Threatened by 'Gross Underestimate' of Toxicity of Neonicotinoids

Nicotine-related compounds called nicotinoids were initially introduced as a new form of pesticide in the 1990s, as widespread pest resistance rendered many older pesticides useless. Many seeds are now "pre-treated" with neonicotinoids, which are water-soluble and break down slowly in the environment.

Today, they are the most widely-used pesticides in the world. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a pesticide that does not contain at least one neonicotinoid insecticide. In California alone, there are nearly 300 registered neonicotinoid products available.

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC), one of the leading bird conservation organizations in the US, is now calling for a ban on the use of neonicotinoids as seed treatments, and wants all pending applications for neonicotinoid products to be suspended pending an independent review of the products' effects on birds, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, and other wildlife.      


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