Widespread use of insecticides affecting bee populations but also causing decline in numbers of birds, butterflies and moths, warns Dutch toxicologist
A new book is blaming the significant decline of bird and bee numbers across Europe on the use of certain pesticides in agriculture.
In The Systemic Insecticides: A Disaster in the Making, toxicologist Dr Henk Tennekes suggests that dangerous insecticides known as neonicotinoids are seriously affecting bird and insect life, and their continued use could result in an ‘environmental catastrophe’. [Read full article]
From the books website introduction:
Bird populations are declining rapidly across Europe, seemingly without reason. Could a new class of insecticides – the so-called neonicotinoids – be to blame?
Since their introduction in the 1990s, neonicotinoids have become the most widely used insecticides worldwide. They are revolutionary because they are put inside seeds, and permeate the whole plant, which is why they are called systemic insecticides. Any insect that feeds on the crop dies. Neonicotinoids are the most effective insecticides ever. The downside is that any bee or butterfly that collects pollen or nectar from the crop is poisoned. Neonicotinoids also seep out of storage or are washed out of the soil into waterways and groundwater. The book describes how the use of neonicotinoids leads to a general decline of insects and common birds.