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Without bees mankind would die off in four years

 

 

 

 

HEALTH

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MEG SEARS PhD桺REVENT CANCER NOW

JUNE

 

 

ith Health Canada抯 newly announced approach to a single neonicotinoid insecticide (neonic) is too limited to substantially protect ecosystem or human health. A June 1 letter published in Science urgently calls for international restrictions of all such insecticides. The 233 international expert signatories highlight ongoing disastrous consequences of biodiversity losses, as food chains are being undercut by neonics.

 

On the basis of a pollinator assessment (focused only on bees), Health Canada proposes to adjust instructions for one neonic, imidacloprid. Today抯 announcement is an important, albeit limited first step. Prevent Cancer Now previously responded that a large portion of pollination in Canada is carried out by various species of flies (Diptera), and five similar insecticides remain to be addressed.

 

Further to the scientists letter, Prevent Cancer Now joined 15 other Canadian civil society organizations, requesting the Canadian Government to at least match recent European actions to ban all outdoor uses of all neonics by the end of 2018.

 

 

Neonics are persistent chemicals that can fundamentally affect all animal life not only insects. Prevent Cancer Now Chair Meg Sears concludes, 揅anadian ecosystems and citizens will be healthier, and our products more valuable, when we focus on least-toxic, sustainable food production.

 

Background

Wide scale bee deaths have brought neonics to public and scientific attention, but impacts are much broader and profound. A letter published in Science urgently calls for international restrictions of these insecticides. The 233 international expert signatories highlight ongoing disastrous consequences of biodiversity losses as food chains are being undercut by neonics.

 

On the basis of a pollinator assessment focused on bees, Health Canada proposes to adjust instructions as to permitted crops, application timing and seed treatments for one neonic, imidacloprid.

 

This is an important first step; however, with at least six similar pesticides registered for use in Canada the oldest being imidacloprid these changes are not expected to reduce the quantities of neonics entering the Canadian environment.

 

Prevent Cancer Now previously responded that a large portion of pollination in Canada is carried out by various species of flies (Diptera). Syrphid flies even look like bees, but these vulnerable insects with distinct physiology and life cycle were not mentioned.

 

Neonics and metabolites are very persistent, and may affect higher life forms. Canadian researchers Caron-Beaudoin et al. concluded in April 2018 that "an increasing body of evidence suggests [neonicotinoid insecticides] have the potential to disrupt endocrine functions." In particular neonics "stimulate a change in CYP19 promoter usage [an enzyme system] similar to that observed in patients with hormone-dependent breast cancer."

 

Prevent Cancer Now Chair Meg Sears stated, 搑apidly escalating chronic diseases, many beginning at younger ages such as diabetes, obesity, inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, developmental problems and hormone-related cancers are linked to effects on the endocrine system.

 

Previous neonic research cited by Caron-Beaudoin et al. found changes in metabolism and hormones, and decreased weight of ovaries, at low doses. The observed 搉on-monotonic dose responses mean that high dose results cannot predict low dose effects and vice versa. These patterns and types of effects are routinely excluded in pesticide assessments, but are highly relevant to health of Canadians and wildlife.

 

Sears concludes, 揅anadian ecosystems and citizens will be healthier, and our products more valuable, when we focus on least-toxic practices for food production. European Union experience has demonstrated low-cost, successful transition to sustainable, organic agriculture with government 揷rop insurance type support.

 

 

 


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