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(35,773 posts)
23. Save the Bees! Ban these two toxic organic pesticides immediately
Fri Apr 29, 2016, 11:47 AM
Apr 2016


Now the problem is that last week the European Commission concluded that azadirachtin, commonly used by organic farmers in Europe, is seriously fatal to bumblebees even at “concentrations 50 times lower” than the recommended levels for organic farmers. The study showed that only 30% of the bumblebees survived exposure at any dose level of azadirachtin. Azadirachtin may be natural and promoted for organic farming but it is deadly to bees (although perhaps in an organic way).

Why then do organic farming organisations think that using these toxins are OK? See a recent article that assures organic gardeners that azadirachtin (as neem oil) is safe, non-toxic and has no effect on bees. The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) has been lobbying the European Commission to keep azadirachtin on the market (with less stringent data requirements) because there are no other alternatives for organic fruit production. Uhm, how about safe, well-tested synthetic pesticides that do not wipe out bee populations?

I have written elsewhere how the organic industry lobby does not hesitate to use unethical practices to gain market share and public support. But if you are blinded by the belief that natural is always good, then you don’t see it as lying, you don’t see the negative consequences of your toxic pesticides and you don’t see the contradictions of your lobbying. You are just blind … and very vocal. But isn’t it sweet that the UK Soil Association has been caught supporting the bumblebee exterminator while they are one of the leading voices demanding a permanent ban on neonicotinoids “to save the bees”! Now the Soil Association say they need to retrain their staff … understatement of the year! I hope they train them to not be so blinded as to think natural toxins are better than scientific toxins.

And what do our jokesters at Pesticide Action Network have to say about azadirachtin? PAN recommends this organic bee-killer as an alternative to several neonicotinoids. So a toxic chemical used in organic farming that wipes 70% of bumblebees out at concentrations 50 times lower than the recommended organic farming levels is considered as a safer alternative than well-tested neonicotinoids. This type of lobbying should be criminalised (but large-scale bee deaths don’t count for much in a court of law).

I recall reading that there's a bit of a turf war. Wilms Apr 2016 #1
That argument, of course, points out the reality that "organic" is just a marketing term. HuckleB Apr 2016 #2
The small farmers, you, and I agree. Wilms Apr 2016 #6
Regardless, it's always been just a marketing term. HuckleB Apr 2016 #8
Also conventional produce gets exported and magically imported back as "organic." yellowcanine Apr 2016 #4
Eek! Wilms Apr 2016 #7
Scams may beget scams. HuckleB Apr 2016 #16
Nicotine is very toxic to humans. Rotenone is somewhat toxic. yellowcanine Apr 2016 #3
Luckily, rotenone is not really used any more. HuckleB Apr 2016 #5
Nicotine has been banned for at least 14 years appal_jack Apr 2016 #18
All I can tell you is that there are many warnings about Neem and pregnancy yellowcanine Apr 2016 #19
All true points. appal_jack Apr 2016 #20
The persistence of synthetic pesticides is correct. The flip side of that is that organic yellowcanine Apr 2016 #21
There is also the issue of fuel use and pollution for each added application of organic products. HuckleB Apr 2016 #24
Just yesterday I saw the only real difference, between "organic" and others. Archae Apr 2016 #9
Corporate marketing, at its ugliest. HuckleB Apr 2016 #10
Like to get me some of that GMO chicken.... yellowcanine Apr 2016 #14
It's CRISPR! HuckleB Apr 2016 #15
Pyrethroids are derivatives of the chrysanthemum Drahthaardogs Apr 2016 #11
All good and well, the LD50 is still not better than for things like glyphosate or Imidacloprid. HuckleB Apr 2016 #12
Pyrethroids are synthetic pyrethrins. yellowcanine Apr 2016 #13
Most synthetic pesticides are derived from naturally occurring ones Major Nikon Apr 2016 #22
. HuckleB Apr 2016 #17
Save the Bees! Ban these two toxic organic pesticides immediately HuckleB Apr 2016 #23
Natural versus Synthetic Chemicals Is a Gray Matter HuckleB Apr 2016 #25
It's a marketing gimmick based on an appeal to nature fallacy Major Nikon Apr 2016 #28
Alas, you are correct on all accounts. -eom- HuckleB Apr 2016 #30
The term "organic pesticides" will confuse the hell out of everybody struggle4progress Apr 2016 #26
All true, but in this era it's well understood via the mass marketing of "organic" food. HuckleB Apr 2016 #27
Two different definitions Major Nikon Apr 2016 #29
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