Cornucopia’s Take: A recent study found controversial neonicotinoid insecticides in tributaries of the Great Lakes system. Neonicotinoids are harmful to wildlife and are linked to bird population declines, bee die-off, and harm to aquatic life. The Great Lakes constitute the largest freshwater system on the planet’s surface, and they are a major source of drinking water in the Upper Midwest. Neonicotinoid insecticides are not permitted in organic agriculture.
Controversial insecticides pervasive in Great Lakes tributaries
Environmental Health News
by Brian Bienkowski
A variety of neonicotinoids—harmful to aquatic organisms—are reported in major Great Lakes streams
U.S. scientists found neonicotinoid insecticides in about three-quarters of samples from 10 major Great Lakes tributaries.
The study is the first to examine the insecticides—gaining notoriety in recent years as a prime suspect in bee die-offs— in the world’s largest freshwater system and suggests Great Lakes’ fish, birds and entire ecosystems might be at risk.
“This study is one of many that shows we know very little about the repercussive effects of pesticides once released into the environment,” said Ruth Kerzee, executive director of the Midwest Pesticide Action Center, who was not involved in the study. “We are told these compounds break down rapidly when exposed to sunlight and, yet, this study shows persistence in the environment long after applications.” Read Full Article »