Monday, November 17, 2014

Neonicotinoids and other thoughts

No, that's not some new grammatical or theological term! Neonicotinoids (neonics for short) are pesticides that theoretically are more effective than other pesticides. There's been debate about them for years, with many claiming that they are responsible for the significant crash in honeybee populations...

Well, the EPA has been testing them recently, and here's what they've found:

Last Thursday, EPA released preliminary findings on neonic-coated soybeans — a small part of the agency’s broader review of neonicotinoids. EPA’s headline finding? Neonicotinoid seed treatments “provide negligible overall benefits to soybean production in most situations.”

We know neonics are harmful to bees and other pollinators; a growing body of science has been pointing to these pesticides as a key factor in dramatically declining populations for years. But pesticide makers like Bayer and Syngenta have continued to claim that neonicotinoid products are essential for farmers' success.

This isn't the case, as EPA's recent findings highlight. Prophylactic uses of neonicotinoid seed treatments — that is, using neonicotinoids preventatively, before pest problems arise — don't actually increase farmer yields. As the agency's report says:

Published data indicate that in most cases there is no difference in soybean yield when soybean seed was treated with neonicotinoids versus not receiving any insect control treatment.

In other words, save your money folks; neonicotinoid seed treatments help soybean yields about as much as… applying no insecticides at all.

<idle musing>
But will the seed kings stop using it? Not likely! There's money in them there things!

So we continue to destroy our environment because the rich want to get richer...which reminds me: with the Republicans controlling both the House and the Senate, when will they introduce their long-promised anti-abortion legislation? Exactly! Never. It's just a sop to seduce the Evangelicals to vote for them...

Wake up people! There are more issues in the Bible than abortion! Yes, I'm against abortion. But I'm also against exploitation of the poor and the immigrants because God cares for all people. Lest you think I'm picking on the Right, I'm also against the drone war in the Middle East. White House, are you listening? Stop the killing! You're just creating another generation of terrorists!

As Christians, we need to be pro-life—from conception to the grave—and not just American lives, either!

OK, I'm done...flame me if you will. Maybe I've been reading too much of Jeremiah...but sometimes you have to scream to be heard.
</idle musing>

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