Sri Lanka’s newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena announced last year that the import of the World’s most used herbicide glyphosate will be banned with immediate effect. The release of already imported stocks has also been stopped. Sirisena, a farmer and ex Health Minister, stated that glyphosate is responsible for the increasing number of chronic kidney disease (CKDu) patients in Sri Lanka and added that the move would protect the Sri Lankan farming community.
This chapter focuses on the detrimental effects that pesticides have on managed honey bee colonies and their productivity. We examine first the routes of exposure of bees to agrochemicals used for crop protection and their application to crops, fate and contamination of water and plants around the fields. Most of the time, the exposure of bees to pesticides is through ingestion of residues found in the pollen and nectar of plants and in water. Honey bees are also exposed to pesticides used for the treatment of Varroa and other parasites.
The saltmarsh sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus) is disappearing from its home on the East Coast and could be headed for extinction in as little as 50 years, say scientists whose work could help protect the little birds. The sparrows, which weigh about half an ounce, live in coastal areas from Maine to Virginia during the breeding season and migrate farther south in the winter. Researchers with a group of universities have been tracking them for several years and reported this week that eight out of every 10 of the birds has disappeared in the past 15 years.
New U.S. Geological Survey-led research suggests that even though amphibians are severely declining worldwide, there is no smoking gun -- and thus no simple solution -- to halting or reversing these declines. "Implementing conservation plans at a local level will be key in stopping amphibian population losses, since global efforts to reduce or lessen threats have been elusive," said Evan Grant, a USGS research wildlife biologist who led the study published in Scientific Reports today.
Western pond turtles in Sequoia National Park and other California remote wildlands have been exposed to an assortment of agricultural and industrial contaminants, according to a study from the National Park Service and the University of California, Davis. In the study, published online in the journal Chemosphere, scientists sampled for 57 compounds, including pesticides, in turtles, invertebrates, and sediments from three sites: Sequoia National Park, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, and Six Rivers National Forest.
"Kids are on the frontline in Minnesota," the Pesticide Action Network warns in a recently released report on the effects of children's exposure to pesticides. "Kids are more vulnerable to chemical exposure," Lex Horan of the Pesticide Action Network told a Park Rapids area audience this week. "They haven't developed the biological defense mechanisms. When kids are exposed at a critical moment of development it can have a lifelong effect." The report's review of government health trend data and recent academic research found:
A disturbing analysis of how the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) managed to infiltrate and influence EFSA (European Food Safety Agency) and a wide range of other international regulatory bodies concerned with pesticides, chemicals, food safety and drug safety. ILSI goes to great lengths to present itself as a non-lobbying group, but it is quite clear from its membership, actions and funding sources that it is an extremely focused lobbying group.
A billion birds have disappeared from North America since 1970, and a third of bird species across the continent are threatened with extinction, a new report says. The first State of North America's Birds report finds that of 1,154 bird species that live in and migrate among Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, 432 are of "high concern" due to low or declining populations, shrinking ranges and threats.
For the evaluation of pesticides, a simple model yields more reliable results than the method currently used in the EU. Now, researchers show that a significantly less complex box model for the risk assessment of pesticides can offer greater environmental safety than the FOCUS modelling approach presently employed by the EU within the regulatory risk assessment. Plant protection products can be approved in Europe only when the predicted concentrations in surface waters are below the ecologically critical threshold value.