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Pesticides Put World Food Supply at Risk

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by tulianr, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    Pesticides aren't just killing off bees, they are threatening to kill a lot of people off as well by putting the world's food security at risk, a new study warns. Researchers say the evidence is now "very clear" that a common class of insecticides called neonicotinoids has contaminated the environment so heavily that creatures essential to food production, including bees and earthworms, are in grave danger.

    The pesticides are applied routinely, instead of in response to infestations, but researchers say there is a "striking" lack of evidence that the treatments do anything to increase crop yields. They also blame the chemicals for declines in bird populations—and for devastating water-based species like snails and dragonflies. The researchers compare the impact of the pesticides first introduced around 20 years ago to that of DDT, which was phased out after the 1962 book Silent Spring revealed the damage it was doing to bird and insect life.

    "It is astonishing we have learned so little," one of the researchers tells the Guardian. "After Silent Spring revealed the unfortunate side-effects of those chemicals, there was a big backlash. But we seem to have gone back to exactly what we were doing in the 1950s. It is just history repeating itself.

    The pervasive nature of these chemicals mean they are found everywhere now." Pesticide manufacturers, however, say there is nothing new in the study and the researchers are selectively highlighting "worst-case scenarios," the BBC reports.

    Pesticides Put World Food Supply at Risk - Common chemicals as bad as DDT, researchers say
    HK_User and chelloveck like this.
  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Meh...for as long as corporate self interest and investor greed exists, environmental concerns only become corporate concerns when failing to be a corporate good citizen affects the balance sheet bottom line in any significant way. Otherwise, environmental degradation just becomes the cost to society of doing business.

    Tobacco, asbestos, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, and other interests have all used the tactic of minimising public concerns, by discrediting the science that raises the red flags that their products and ways of manufacturing them are harmful to the environment, harmful to humans and harmful to other inhabitants of the biosphere.
    tulianr likes this.
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