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Neonicotinoids: Kills Bees and the Human Nervous System

Hope everyone is enjoying a safe and happy holiday season! This is the last post of 2013, and relates to the pesticides farmers in the Northern hemisphere are likely stockpiling for next year's growing season.

In the EU, three neonicotinoids pesticides (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) are already subject to a two-year ban to allow some time for further research, after a report in January said that they may pose a high and immediate risk to pollinators, including honeybees.

The latest recommendations from the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) is that maximum exposure/intake levels deemed to be "safe" for humans should be revised downward. This was based on a rat study linking two of these insecticides--acetamiprid and imidacloprid--to adverse effects on the development of nerve cells and brain structures. FYI, imidacloprid was also one of the substances linked to declining bee populations earlier this year.

Based on its review, the EFSA recommended that acetamiprid's maximum exposure should be revised to 0.025 mg/kg(of body weight)/day (from 0.07 mg/kg/day). The level workers should be exposed to the substance should be lowered in parallel.

For imidacloprid, EFSA said the maximum exposure limit already provides adequate protection against the potential neurotoxic effects, but recommended the exposure levels for workers should be revised down to 0.06 mg/kg/day (from 0.08 mg/kg/day).

In Ontario, Canada, where I live, the Ontario Beekeepers Association is asking everyone to sign a petition to ban these pesticides to help slow the plunging bee population. Click HERE and sign the petition online.

Source: Scientific Opinion on the developmental neurotoxicity potential of acetamiprid and imidacloprid

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