🍎 Research on the Impact of Pesticides on Pollinators & Wildlife
  • Center for Biological Diversity. EPA: Widely used pesticide Atrazine likely harms more than 1,000 endangered species. Published November 5, 2020.
    • “…atrazine is likely to harm 1,013 protected species, or 56% of all endangered plants and animals in the nation.”
  • Kelly MacNamara. Agriculture is killing way more bees than we realized, huge study reveals. ScienceAlert. Published August 6, 2021.
    • “A failure to address this [agrochemical exposure] and to continue to expose bees to multiple anthropogenic stressors within agriculture will result in the continued decline in bees and their pollination services, to the detriment of human and ecosystem health.”
  • Common weed killer linked to bee deaths. UT News. Published September 24, 2018.
    • “Exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, causes some bees to beneficial bacteria in their guts, making them more susceptible to infection and death.”
  • Eng ML, Stutchbury BJ, Morrissey CA. Imidacloprid and chlorpyrifos insecticides impair migratory ability in a seed-eating songbird. Scientific Reports. 2017;7(1).
    • The results from this study suggest that “wild songbirds consuming the equivalent of just four imidacloprid-treated canola seeds or eight chlorpyrifos granules per day over 3 days could suffer impaired condition, migration delays and improper migratory direction, which could lead to increased risk of mortality or lost breeding opportunity.”
  • Federal Court Halts Spraying of Monsanto’s Dicamba Pesticide Across Millions of Acres of Cotton, Soybeans. (2024, February 6). Center for Food Safety .
    • The drift-prone pesticide has damaged millions of acres of crops and wild plants every year since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first approved it in 2017 for spraying on cotton and soybean crops genetically engineered by Monsanto (now Bayer) to survive what would otherwise be a deadly dose.
    • “I hope the court’s emphatic rejection of the EPA’s reckless approval of dicamba will spur the agency to finally stop ignoring the far-reaching harm caused by this dangerous pesticide,” said Nathan Donley, environmental health science director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Endangered butterflies and bee populations are going to keep tanking if the EPA keeps twisting itself into a pretzel to approve this product just to appease the pesticide industry.”
    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that up to 15 million acres of soybeans have been damaged by dicamba drift. Beekeepers in multiple states have reported sharp drops in honey production due to dicamba drift suppressing the flowering plants their bees need for sustenance
  • Hettinger J. Complaints surge about Weed Killer dicamba’s damage to oak trees. Investigate Midwest. Published February 28, 2018.
    • Farmers experiencing crop failure due to dicamba drift onto older version of seeds without dicamba resistance. Additionally, new complaints have emerged that dicamba may be responsible for damage to oak trees.
  • Lee C. Orchard Growers Raise dicamba red flags. Prairie Farmer. Published September 21, 2018.
    • Farmer’s perspective on the impacts of dicamba on the food system
    • “In the Midwest, what used to be an 80-acre field is now 70 acres with houses lining the road,” he says. “If you think you can spray this and not cause damage to any of these homes, think again. Volatility doesn’t happen every time an application is made. But say it’s 5% to 8%. Would you get into an airplane if you had a 5% to 8% chance of crashing? You can’t take the approach that you’re immune to the problem. It just hasn’t hit you yet.”
  • Millot F, Decors A, Mastain O, et al. Field evidence of bird poisonings by imidacloprid-treated seeds: A review of incidents reported by the French Sagir Network from 1995 to 2014. Environ Sci Pollut Res. 2016;24(6):5469-5485.
    • Review of 103 wildlife mortality incidents linked to imidacloprid-treated seeds.
    • “One hundred and one incidents totalling at least 734 dead animals were consistent with an agricultural use as seed treatment. Grey partridges (Perdix perdix) and “pigeons” (Columba palumbus, Columba livia and Columba oenas) were the main species found. More than 70% of incidents occurred during autumn cereal sowings.”
  • Nickel R. Drifting Crop Chemical Deals ‘double whammy’ to U.S. Farmers. Reuters. Published August 2, 2017.
    • “Crops have suffered damage across much of the farm belt. Governments in 17 states are investigating more than 1,400 complaints of dicamba problems covering 2.5 million acres, Kevin Bradley, a University of Missouri associate professor in the plant sciences division, wrote last week.”
  • Oosthoek S. Pesticides spark broad biodiversity loss. Nature. June 2013. doi:10.1038/nature.2013.13214
    • The article “Pesticides spark broad biodiversity loss,” highlight two research papers, one analyzing the harmful effects of pesticide use on stream invertebrates and another analyzing the detrimental effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on the environment. Both papers demonstrated the importance of conducting ecosystem assessments after pesticide use.
    • “Unfortunately during a global economic crisis, budget cuts come at the cost of ecosystem health monitoring.”
  • Pisa, L; An update of the Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA)on systemic insecticides. Part 2: impacts on organisms and ecosystems. Environ Sci Pollut Res. 2021; 28:11749–11797
    • Worldwide integrated assessment of insecticide exposure on bees, soil organisms, aquatic invertebrates, and terrestrial vertebrates.
    • “Research on bees has revealed new aspects of sublethal effects [of exposure to neonicotinoids and fipronil], including the reduced fecundity of queen bees, impairment of sperm in drones, negative interactions with parasites and the
      immune system.”
    • “Invertebrates constitute the main food source for an innumerable number of insectivorous vertebrates and fulfill an essential role in recycling organic matter in the soil as well as in water. The consequences of losing the invertebrate fauna due to continuous exposure to ubiquitous residues of neonicotinoids and fipronil are thus far reaching and cannot be ignored any longer.”
  • Rosenfeld CS. Gut dysbiosis in animals due to environmental chemical exposures. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2017;7.
    • This review addresses the impact of environmental chemical exposures on both host and the resident gut microbiome.
  • Royte E. The same pesticides linked to bee declines might also threaten birds. Audubon. Published May 14, 2019.
    • “…populations of insect-eating birds have declined by an average of 3.5 percent a year—a statistically significant drop—in areas where the neonic imidacloprid contaminated surface waters…”
    • “Industrial farming does not support birdlife,” she said. “If we don’t have insects, we don’t have birds. It’s as simple as that.”
  • Shehata AA, Schrödl W, Aldin AA, Hafez HM, Krüger M. The effect of glyphosate on potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota in vitro. Current Microbiology. 2012;66(4):350-358.
    • Results from this study conclude that a beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract microbiota is disturbed by ingestion of glyphosate. Beneficial bacteria such as Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, Bacillus badius, Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Lactobacillus spp. were all highly susceptible to glyphosate, while highly pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella Entritidis, Salmonella Gallinarum, Salmonella Typhimurium, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum are highly resistance glyphosate.
  • Siviter, H., Bailes, E.J., Martin, C.D. et al. Agrochemicals interact synergistically to increase bee mortality. Nature. 2021;596, 389–392.
    • Meta-analysis of 90 studies analyzing anthropogenic stressors on health of pollinators.
  • The rise of superweeds and what to do about it. Union of Concerned Scientists. Washington, DC. Published December 2013.
    • 8 page article on glyphosate-resistant, “superweeds” and how they are “wreaking environmental havoc, driving up farmers’ costs, and prompting them to resort to more toxic week-killers.”
  • Vogel JR, Majewski MS, Capel PD. Pesticides in rain in four agricultural watersheds in the United States. Journal of Environmental Quality. 2008;37(3):1101-1115.
    • Research from all data sites showed that 7 of the 10 most frequently detected pesticides were herbicides, which accounted for 91-98% of the total pesticide mass deposited by rain.
  • Willis Chan, D., Raine, N.E. Population decline in a ground-nesting solitary squash bee (Eucera pruinosa) following exposure to a neonicotinoid insecticide treated crop (Cucurbita pepo). Sci Rep. 2021;11, 4241.
    • “Female hoary squash bees exposed to Admire-treated crops constructed fewer nests and collected less pollen than unexposed bees, a combined negative effect that would likely reduce offspring production.”
    • “Soil must be considered a potential route of pesticide exposure in risk assessments, and restrictions on soil-applied insecticides may be justified, to mitigate impacts on ground-nesting solitary bee populations and the crop pollination services they provide.”

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