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Ontario Beekeepers' Association Urges Federal Agency to Push Ahead with Ban on Neonicotinoids

Comments from the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, to the The House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food Hearing, on Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) proposal to phase out the main uses of imidacloprid.

Dear Members of the Standing Committee,

Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture

This report reviews the existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective and the potential contribution of organic management practices to the development of healthy food systems. Very few studies have directly addressed the effect of organic food on human health. They indicate that organic food may reduce the risk of allergic disease and obesity, but this evidence is not conclusive. Consumers of organic food tend to have healthier dietary patterns overall.

Assam's white-winged wood duck is threatened

“I am Assam’s State bird Deo hah. My current status is threatened. Please do not kill us, nor collect our ducklings or eggs” – reads a new campaign poster of wildlife NGO Aaranyak, starkly describing the current status of the State bird, the white-winged wood duck (Asarcornis scutulata). As the rhino continues to be the focus of wildlife conservation in the State, the numbers of the white-winged wood duck are dwindling slowly and silently with little or no attention coming from the State Government.

South Florida wading bird nesting falls to lowest level in a decade

The number of nesting wading birds in South Florida, a key measure of Everglades health, sunk to a decade-long low last year, according to a South Florida Water Management District report released this week, the latest in a 22-year tally. Just over 26,000 nesting birds were counted across the Everglades and in Lake Okeechobee last year, well below the 10-year annual average of about 42,000.

Dose: Time-to-effect analyses can identify hazardous chemicals at an early stage of product development

Expenditure for discovery and development of a new crop protection product is now approaching the $ 300 million mark, while at the same time underpinning information gaps in environmental safety assessment. Large information gaps also exist for the safety of a vast number of existing chemicals in commerce. Addressing safety information gaps of new and existing chemicals with increased conventional toxicity testing would skyrocket costs and animal usage and contravene the 3Rs principles to refine, reduce, and replace animal testing.

UN experts denounce 'myth' pesticides are necessary to feed the world

The idea that pesticides are essential to feed a fast-growing global population is a myth, according to UN food and pollution experts. A new report, being presented to the UN human rights council on Wednesday, is severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”.

Greater prairie chickens cannot persist in Illinois without help, researchers report

The greater prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) once dominated the American Midwest, but today the bird is in trouble in many parts of its historic range. It is no longer found in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas or Wyoming, states where it once flourished. And in Illinois, an estimated 186 birds remain in two adjoining counties in the southern part of the state. "They used to be all over the state," said Illinois Natural History Survey conservation biologist Mark Davis, who participated in a genetic analysis of the Illinois birds.

There is a link between low dose exposure to pyrethroids and behavioral problems in children

Children exposed to a widely used group of insecticides may be at increased risk for behavioral problems, according to a new study. The insecticides are called pyrethroids. They're used on crops but can also be found in some mosquito repellents and in products used to treat head lice, scabies and fleas, the French research team explained. Like many types of insecticides, pyrethroids work by damaging nerves, and concerns have recently been raised about their possible effects on children who have been exposed.

Hundreds of Native US Bee Species Are Sliding Toward Extinction

In the first comprehensive review of the more than 4,000 native bee species in North America and Hawaii, the Center for Biological Diversity has found that more than half the species with sufficient data to assess are declining. Nearly 1 in 4 is imperiled and at increasing risk of extinction. The new analysis, "Pollinators in Peril: A systematic status review of North American and Hawaiian native bees", revealed that more than 700 species are in trouble from escalating pesticide use.