Widespread use of pesticides causing widespread harm

Source: http://www.wonderfulphotos.com/articles/macro/dragonflies/images/2.jpg

Several recent studies conclude widespread use of pesticides causing widespread harm.

Pesticides spark broad biodiversity loss,” Sharon Osthoek reports for Nature.com.

From the report:

Agricultural pesticides have been linked to widespread invertebrate biodiversity loss in two new research papers.

Pesticide use has sharply reduced the regional biodiversity of stream invertebrates, such as mayflies and dragonflies, in Europe and Australia, finds a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Study: Beketov, M., Kefford, B., Schäfer, R., & Liess, M. PNAS http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1305618110

According to a report on Grist, more pests are showing immunity to genetically engineered Bt corn and soy.  Author John Upton writes:

Field of corn Photo: Shutterstock
Field of corn
Photo: Shutterstock

As of 2010, five of 13 major pest species had become largely immune to the Bt poisons in GMO corn and cotton, compared to just one species in 2005, scientists write in a paper published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

“Three of the five cases are in the US, where farmers have planted about half of the world’s Bt crop acreage,” reports Business Standard. “[The study] indicates that in the worst cases, resistance evolved in 2 to 3 years; but in the best cases, effectiveness of Bt crops has been sustained more than 15 years.”

Banned pesticides may be having wider environmental impacts,” Reports Matt McGrath for the BBC.  This is in reference to a  new study by Prof Dave Goulson of Sussex University, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

The research by Prof Goulson focuses on the neonicotinoid pesticides that already have been linked to bee poisoning and banned this year by the European Union.

Source: BBC News

This, as England saw a bad winter for bees, according to another report by McGrath, BBC News Environmental Corespondent.  “Honey bee losses double in a year due to poor winter,” McGrath writes.

Meanwhile, journalist sees Jeb Bush statement that immigrants are more fertile as a slip on the politician’s part.

Evann Gastaldo relays a statement that Jeb Bush made to Politico.

Politico quoted Bush in this statement:

“We’re going to have fewer workers taking care of a larger number of people than the country has a social contract with, to be able to allow them to retire with dignity and purpose. We cannot do that with the fertility rates that we have in our country. Immigrants are more fertile and they love families and they have more intact families and they bring a younger population.”

Gastaldo also provides stats on birth rates:

Per the National Center for Health Statistics, of women ages 15 to 44, the birth rate is 87.8 births per 1,000 foreign-born women and 58.9 for US-born women.

Per Pew Research Center, 23% of US births were to foreign-born mothers in 2010, though only 13% of the population was foreign-born.

The point is, people in America are having fertility issues.  Could this be linked to the industrialized food system that is responsible for providing a large part of the foods that we consume?


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