Step by step guide to getting Neonicotinoids banned

Posted: December 4, 2014 by Andrew in alarmism, Big Green

imageEnvironmental activist groups have grown in their ambitions over recent history, they have moved from climbing trees, trying to stop bypasses being constructed, to scaring governments into bending to their will. One of the most recent examples of this power being exerted, involved the honey bee. Neonicotinoids were chosen as the bad guy. A campaign to have the pesticides banned was formulated

Over the last few years the media has been full of doom and gloom, not just about the future with global warming causing ever greater natural disasters, but the imminent demise of the honey bee. They drag Albert Einstein into the fray with the quote: ” If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than 4 years to live “. A quote that Einstein did not produce.

With every scare these days, there is scientific research to back up the claims of environmentalists. First the newspapers are outraged at the prospect, apparently following close behind are the environmentalist groups. The government “has to be seen to be doing something”. Whether to follow the early science produced and ban outright. Or to suspend until more research is done. The second choice requires bravery from a group that is famous for lacking resolve in the face of a head-on media and environmentalist charge.

What is not heard is the response from the producers of the pesticide. Any response is simply drowned out. Would these well capitalised organisations not have a strong public relations operation? It would seem not.

How did this modern scare story gather so much momentum so quickly.

Science 2.0 has a step by step guide showing how environmentalists worked to achieve a ban on Neonicotinoids. It is also worth reading the other articles on the site on Neonicotinoids.

Despite the pressure applied the EU and  UK government, specifically the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Britain has followed option 2. A short suspension allowing time for more research and simply allowing some of  the heat to leave the issue. DEFRA has its own version of research peer review, which decided that the scientific evidence was of too low a grade to justify a full ban. Not just the poor quality of model based projections of imminent disaster. The research completed, to a large degree, concentrated on the honey bee, whereas there are many other pollinating species that were ignored; there little prestige or media interest in researching neonicotinoid impact on fruit flies.

Recently DEFRA released its National Pollinator Strategy document; a guide for government departments indicating how they can adapt legislation to benefit these insects. It provided little evidence that a ban was imminent.

The environmental groups wishing for a ban may not have completely lost, neither have they yet won. The more they adopt this strategy, hopeful, less effective it becomes. It is still largely up to fellow scientists to blow the whistle on poor science, before it turns into poor policy.

Comments
  1. Bernd Palmer says:

    For more scare debunking, read http://acsh.org/?s=neonicotin&cat=0&x=14&y=30

  2. wolsten says:

    Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    Another good example of where environmentalists have no interest in what the data actually says in order to further a misguided cause.

  3. Evan HIghlander says:

    …….. and what about the record honey crop – wasn’t it this year? – was in the news, only this past coupla weeks….. So, Do fewer Bees make more honey? Accountants may say “Less staff, greater returns, win, win ” I don’t think it adds up

  4. SayNoToFearmongers says:

    One of the regular spectacularly self-destructive own goals here is that banning neonicotinoids has dramatically reduced the amount of oilseed rape planted for next year, because it can no longer be effectively protected from flea beetles at the vulnerable seedling stage (neonicotinoids make excellent seed treatments, which means they’ve done their job and are gone long before flowering – which is the point when bees become interested in the crop). Since oilseed rape is the single biggest food source for bees in our landscape, this can only be very bad news for the insects these vipers pretend to be ‘protecting’.

  5. hunter says:

    A taxonomy of the Malthusian/Green/climate obsessed needs to be developed. They share many similar traits, but are significantly different morphs. They do live in community, not competition even though they occupy much of the same space in the social environment. Their results, in modern form at least, is nearly always the diminution of the safety net that people need and no actual improvement in the environment/climate or safety.

  6. thefordprefect says:

    Guardian
    Wednesday 1 October 2014 13.31 BST
    Last year three neonicotinoid seed treatments used by British farmers on autumn sown oilseed rape were banned by Brussels because of the risk to bees. This is the first year the ban has come into force, and farmers say they are struggling.
    ——-
    The ban has been in place all of 2014 – perhaps this is why honey production is up (together with warmer drier weather)

  7. thefordprefect says:

    How do we KNOW neonics are causing bee deaths? Many experiments show they are affected by relatively low doses. Perhaps there is no PROOF. But bee populations are dropping do we wait for them all to die before trying to aid there existence?

    But, hey!, how do we know that fast driving in housing estates is dangerous. The odd death proves nothing, perhaps we need to wait till a significant proportion of the residents die before inposing 30mph speed limit?

    Neonicotinoids, bee disorders and the sustainability of pollinator
    services§
    Jeroen P van der Sluijs

    For mass-dying of bees in spring nearby and during
    sowing of corn seeds coated with neonicotinoids there
    now is a one to one proven causal link with acute intoxication
    though contact with the dust cloud around the
    pneumatic sowing machines during foraging flights to
    adjacent forests (providing honeydew) or nearby flowering
    fields [104,105–109]. Such mass colony losses
    during corn sowing have also been documented in
    Italy, Germany, Austria and Slovenia [110,111,104].
    In response to the incidents, the adherence of the seed…

    Neonicotinoids are highly neurotoxic to honeybees
    and wild pollinators. Their capacity to cross the ionimpermeable
    barrier surrounding the central nervous
    system (BBB, blood–brain barrier) [7] and their strong
    binding to nAChR in the bee’s central nervous system are
    responsible for a unique chronic and sublethal toxicity
    profile. Neonicotinoid toxicity is reinforced by exposure…

  8. Kon Dealer says:

    Scientists with WWF connections decided to “make a case for banning some pesticides”, by seeking, in advance, evidence to support such a ban.

    Now where have we seen such non-scientific behaviour before?

  9. thefordprefect says:

    “Sub-lethal exposure to neonicotinoids impaired honey bees winterization before proceeding to colony collapse disorder,” Chensheng Lu, Kenneth M. Warchol, Richard A. Callahan, Bulletin of Insectology, online Friday, May 9, 2014
    Lu and his co-authors from the Worcester County Beekeepers Association studied the health of 18 bee colonies in three locations in central Massachusetts from October 2012 through April 2013. At each location, the researchers separated six colonies into three groups—one treated with imidacloprid, one with clothianidin, and one untreated.

    There was a steady decline in the size of all the bee colonies through the beginning of winter—typical among hives during the colder months in New England. Beginning in January 2013, bee populations in the control colonies began to increase as expected, but populations in the neonicotinoid-treated hives continued to decline. By April 2013, 6 out of 12 of the neonicotinoid-treated colonies were lost, with abandoned hives that are typical of CCD. Only one of the control colonies was lost—thousands of dead bees were found inside the hive—with what appeared to be symptoms of a common intestinal parasite called Nosema ceranae.

    While the 12 pesticide-treated hives in the current study experienced a 50% CCD mortality rate, the authors noted that, in their 2012 study, bees in pesticide-treated hives had a much higher CCD mortality rate—94%. That earlier bee die-off occurred during the particularly cold and prolonged winter of 2010-2011 in central Massachusetts, leading the authors to speculate that colder temperatures, in combination with neonicotinoids, may play a role in the severity of CCD.

    “Although we have demonstrated the validity of the association between neonicotinoids and CCD in this study, future research could help elucidate the biological mechanism that is responsible for linking sub-lethal neonicotinoid exposures to CCD,” said Lu. “Hopefully we can reverse the continuing trend of honey bee loss.”

  10. Andrew says:

    There are two more articles regarding Neonicotinoids at the same site. Part 2 shows that there is some evidence that the pesticide can improve colony health. Mysteriouser and mysteriouser. There is no doubt that the alternative pesticides are worse.

  11. Andrew says:

    The ford

    Sorry i didn’t see you in moderation.

    Follow the first link then search for “part1 bee deaths mystery solved” the first of a two part explanation of Lu’s research. Part 2 is especially revealing. Put simply he poisoned the bees.

    I cannot seem to provide a link directly to the article from my iPad.

  12. Brett Keane says:

    Plant pathology is one of my trades. Until I hear different, I’ll go with my colleagues’ understanding, that neonicotinoids are rarely in the picture. “Wild jet stream” weather patterns i.e. unseasonal wet cold or dry weather; harsh winters; Varroa mite, seem more likely causes. Most of these are normal enough. They are part of nature, unlike the protesting mob. Brett

  13. Kon Dealer says:

    Great post by Steve McIntyre, over at Climate Audit, about which shows how looking to “prove” something, as per climate psientists, is “non-science”.

  14. Bernd Palmer says:

    “Research blaming pesticides for the decline in honeybees has been called into question by a leaked note suggesting that scientists had decided in advance to seek evidence supporting a ban on the chemicals.
    The private note records a discussion in 2010 between four scientists about how to persuade regulators to ban neonicotinoid pesticides.“

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/article4286838.html

    Details about the PR-strategy of IUCN (yes, PR strategy)

    http://www.science20.com/science_20/when_it_comes_to_neonics_activists_understand_pr_better_than_chemical_companies_do-150299

  15. tallbloke says:

    This looks nearly as big as climategate. Booker investigates:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11277022/Greens-used-EU-cash-to-push-for-damaging-pesticide-ban.html

    “A further twist has emerged in a scandal already hailed by Forbes magazine as a new “Climategate”. This was last week’s revelation of a document showing that a campaign that last year pushed the EU into a damaging ban on certain insecticides was deliberately engineered – on the basis of highly questionable evidence – by a group of environmentally committed scientists working for a green pressure group, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
    The ban on the use of neonicotinoids, or “neonics”, has already done huge damage to agriculture all over Europe – an official EU report estimates the cost to British farmers alone at £640 million. But it now emerges that the IUCN was funded by the EU itself to the tune of £19 million, with £350,000 going to a special “task force”, headed by an environmentalist who was one of the co-founders of the Dutch WWF. This came up with the evidence used to justify the ban.
    Minutes of the task force’s first meeting in 2010 show that its only purpose was to find evidence to support a ban. Since 2004, neonics have been successfully used to control crop damage by farmers in 120 countries. On the back of papers produced by the task force, other green lobby groups – some also funded by the EU – launched a Europe-wide campaign calling for a ban, particularly focused for propaganda purposes on the damage these chemicals were purportedly doing to bees.
    When the commission accordingly proposed its ban, few questioned it more strongly than the chief scientific adviser to the UK’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which was why opposition to it in Brussels was led by his minister, Owen Paterson. Defra’s own field trials had shown no damage to bees, whereas the IUCN relied only on highly artificial laboratory experiments.”

    Feckin’ scandalous. And the Green fuckwits have successfully lobbied for the removal of the EU scientific adviser. Not just the person, but the post. Let’s get out of the EU. Vote UKIP.