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 Post subject: Neonicotinoid ban in EU
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:10 pm 
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EU is getting serious about bee die-offs. Should be voting to ban use of the neonics for two years to see if that helps the bees come back. Still no actual science that the neonics are actually causing this problem and the industry is justifiably up in arms about it. Where, oh where, is the Bugster?

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 Post subject: Re: Neonicotinoid ban in EU
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:28 pm 
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Dr. Who in (I think) his 11th incarnation (maybe 10th) had an amusing discussion of the toxicity of nicotinoid compounds on insects. The question of whether it is a solid data point in the bee die off is very open to discussion.

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 Post subject: Re: Neonicotinoid ban in EU
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 1:08 am 
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scoob5555 wrote:
EU is getting serious about bee die-offs. Should be voting to ban use of the neonics for two years to see if that helps the bees come back. Still no actual science that the neonics are actually causing this problem and the industry is justifiably up in arms about it. Where, oh where, is the Bugster?


Moi?

Not that I'm overly objective on this but I'm a non-believer in the role of neonics in causing colony decline or really much impact on the colonies at all, even at sublethal levels/effects.

The French banned imidacloprid pretty darn quickly, sometime around 2005 or 2006, if not sooner. I'd have to actually care to go look. I organized a meeting with an entomologist that went over to France in mid-2007 to work in the lab doing all the neonic work. His opinion? Utter B.S. and this was the opinion of the lab too, but the money flowing in was hard to resist.

Imidacloprid in particular has been looked at extremely closely and while it's possible, might be, could be that there are some sublethal effects that might effect navigation at some nearly undetectable level, for the most part the real statistical results come back saying "nope, sorry, not me."

Here's the reality, France banned neonics years ago, yet they still have colony issues as severe as they did when neonics were in use. Sure, the EU can do the same, but they'll quite likely find the same result.

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 Post subject: Re: Neonicotinoid ban in EU
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:24 am 
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EU is now adding fipronil to their suspects list. Cast a wide enough net and maybe they'll catch something?

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 Post subject: Re: Neonicotinoid ban in EU
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:46 am 
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More... And, again must note that Food Navigator is very copyright protective, but there is always the source code ... so, to be good you'll have to go to the article to read more - ignoring the fact that it down below the blurb:

Weak UK bee study does not affect neonicotinoid conclusions: EFSA
Quote:
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has said that weaknesses in a recent study published by UK authorities mean it will not affect conclusions on the links between pesticides and bee health.

Keep reading at yore own potential doom. Real pain in the butt to reformat this from HTML, though. :twisted:

EFSA identified several weaknesses in the study published by the UK Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), which had suggested that neonicotinoid pesticides do not have a major effect on bumble bee colonies under field conditions.

Given these weaknesses of the study, EFSA has said that it considers the study to not have affect on its conclusions regarding risks for bees related to the use of the neonicotinoid pesticides thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid.

"The FERA study looked at only one crop – oilseed rape (note:, this is marketed as canola oil in the US)– and two plant protection products – one containing clothianidin, the other imidacloprid – authorised for use in the UK" said EFSA.

Furthermore, the test sites and surrounding areas used in the FERA study reflect a small sample of agricultural conditions in the UK and cannot be considered representative of conditions in other parts of the EU.

The scientific body also said that the UK failed to address two important routes of exposure in dust and guttation.

In addition EFSA noted that its assessments had reached conclusions for honey bees - whilst identifying a data gap for other pollinators.

Field studies of bumble bees cannot be used to understand the risks to honey bees and other pollinators because of significant species differences said EFSA

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 Post subject: Re: Neonicotinoid ban in EU
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:25 am 
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scoob5555 wrote:
EU is now adding fipronil to their suspects list. Cast a wide enough net and maybe they'll catch something?


Fipronil is more interesting, for reasons I honestly do not understand. It is a wonderful product in terms of efficacy - it does what it is asked to do.

That said, the risk cup is full, on a North American basis, largely due to pet uses, and as such cannot be registered in Canada because of the risk cup fullness. But there's always been more to it than that and neither our regulatory body, the PMRA (Pest Management Regulatory Agency = EPA) nor the registrant, which when last I checked was BASF, would actually tell anyone what the real registration issues were. Registration is different in Canada in that we require proof of efficacy whereas U.S. EPA registration does not, but that's never been in question, the stuff works.

All that said it is important, very important, to keep in mind that beekeepers routinely dose their hives with older chemistries to a large degree to control in-hive pests, most notably Varroa mite (I can provide references if anyone is truly interested). That they spend so much time griping about field insecticides applied for protection of the crop itself is at the very least laughable, given what they apply directly to the hives themselves. Of course the beekeepers never bother to actually consider what would happen if newer products, such as those containing imidacloprid/thiacloprid/fipronil/etc. weren't registered. To whit, the EPA and other registration organizations have been routinely re-assessing older chemistries - OPs, OCs, Carbamates, Pyrethroids - and given that these are all routinely off patent and too expensive to re-register without said patent, it's a damn good thing there are new chemistries, patent protected, coming onto the market. Because quite simply put, if you can't protect the crop, there won't be a damn thing for all those bees, CCD or not, to pollinate and their reproduction rate will drop dramatically. Beekeeping oversaturates the pollination marketplace. Without an abundance of flowering plants to visit in monocultures your return on beekeeping is going into the crapper.

The regulatory bodies de-register older, effective pesticides on the basis that the company doesn't want to pay the fees to re-register. They pull a mea culpa even though the reality is that the original company responsible for the patent on the product could never possibly make back their investment on the re-registration since the Scott's, etc. of the world will truly reap the benefits because they don't foot the cost for the re-registration, only the original patent holder. So yeah, only new pesticdes come on the market, and really, not even enough of them because of the current worldwide mindset that "least toxic" is best. That's wrong and the subject of another wholly long and drawn out post/rant based on resistance management and a slew of other factors. Know why we have a bedbug outbreak? Cuz the shiite that works ain't allowed anymore. That's what "least toxic" alternatives buys you. "We" asked for it and we're reaping the rewards for that mentality. Insert Red Forman quote here.


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 Post subject: Re: Neonicotinoid ban in EU
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:23 am 
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El Buggo wrote:
scoob5555 wrote:
EU is now adding fipronil to their suspects list. Cast a wide enough net and maybe they'll catch something?


... Registration is different in Canada in that we require proof of efficacy whereas U.S. EPA registration does not, but that's never been in question, the stuff works. ....



The EPA requires that pesticides be effective. It does not generally require submission of proof of effectiveness. Here's the language from 40CFR158.640 note 1:

Quote:
(1) The Agency has waived all requirements to submit efficacy data unless the pesticide product bears a claim to control pest microorganisms that pose a threat to human health and whose presence cannot readily be observed by the user including, but not limited to, microorganisms infectious to man in any area of the inanimate environment or a claim to control vertebrates (such as rodents, birds, bats, canids, and skunks) that may directly or indirectly transmit diseases to humans. However, each registrant must ensure through testing that his products are efficacious when used in accordance with label directions and commonly accepted pest control practices. The Agency reserves the right to require, on a case-by-case basis, submission of efficacy data for any pesticide product registered or proposed for registration.


There's an urban legend that the waiver of the efficacy requirement came into being over bear repellents. Supposedly the EPA demanded proof of efficacy and the manufacture offered to put EPA representatives in a cage with a grizzly bear and a can of bear repellent to demonstrate efficacy.


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 Post subject: Re: Neonicotinoid ban in EU
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:18 pm 
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Yeah, but that waiver ends up resulting in a lot of crap being released stateside that never makes it through registration in Canada because they never seem to have efficacy data. I know the registrants are supposed to have it but they don't seem to have it when they come up here. So lots of products in the 'buyer beware' category that makes some people a ton of money before anyone actually realizes the crap don't work. Hello organic market and "Cinna-mite" :roll:

Which is not to say the PMRA is without fault. They registered corn gluten as a herbicide. I happen to know the lead on that file and he was told in no uncertain terms to ignore the efficacy data because we "needed" an organic weed control. While corn gluten might help suppress seedlings in ain't doin' nothin' for established weeds bigger than a toothpick. Wanting something to work isn't the same as proving something actually works.


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 Post subject: Re: Neonicotinoid ban in EU
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:40 pm 
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What language triggers a pesticide registration in Canada? "Kills", "Repels", "Prevents", "Disinfects", etc.? I know in the US, the name brand chlorine bleach has a pesticide registration and can say "Kills Germs" and/or "Disinfects" on the label; off-brands don't want to go to the trouble and just say "Cleans".

My reason for asking is a lot of my "Organic" and "Natural" friends are constantly trumpeting the fact that some pesticide or another has been banned in Europe. I'd love to have a list showing them that their favorite "organic" pest control has been "banned in Canada".


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 Post subject: Re: Neonicotinoid ban in EU
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:27 pm 
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setnahkt wrote:
What language triggers a pesticide registration in Canada? "Kills", "Repels", "Prevents", "Disinfects", etc.? I know in the US, the name brand chlorine bleach has a pesticide registration and can say "Kills Germs" and/or "Disinfects" on the label; off-brands don't want to go to the trouble and just say "Cleans".

My reason for asking is a lot of my "Organic" and "Natural" friends are constantly trumpeting the fact that some pesticide or another has been banned in Europe. I'd love to have a list showing them that their favorite "organic" pest control has been "banned in Canada".


I honestly don't know the language, if any, that triggers it. I've always though it was the intent of the product rather than the language, so it may be something as weak as "controls". Though most of the repellents I can think of need a Pest Control Products number (PCP#). I just looked at our jug of bleach and it is a 'sanitizer' but has no PCP#.

I think the reality of the situation is that their favorite organic pesticide probably isn't registered in Canada more as a result of a lack of efficacy than because it has been banned. To be banned of course it would have had to have been registered first. And I'd cast some pretty darn serious aspersions towards some of the efficacy data associated with some of the products that have been registered - hot pepper wax and pyrethrins come to mind. I know they work to an extent on certain pests, though pyrethrins without a synergist (and piperonyl butoxide is not allowed under OMRI standards) is about as effective as urinating on the plants - it knocks down the pests but they recover fairly quickly (~1 hour) without the synergist. Pepper wax doesn't work up here on our pest guild - I know, we looked at all this natural crap for five years running and the check plot routinely outyielded the test plots.

That said there are also some dubious conventional products that are in the registration stream too. I remember shortly before changing jobs Bayer took me to one of their plots and showed me some data on their new aphicide. I was really quite baffled when they showed me the data because the population of aphids had increased over all of the 3, 7 and 14 day periods. They started rambling about "lag effect and anti-feedant" which may or may not be true but I'd be asking about natural senescence of the aphid population after any period of time like that, especially since day length was shortening rapidly at the time. Not a product I would have recommended.

As far as Europe goes, the precautionary principle rules, at least where it's emotional/political. That's just dumb and I won't even call it dumb science. If you're looking to Europe for regulatory advice you're probably in a speck of trouble anyway. But then the organic/natural/holistic crowd are usually the folks that scurried away from science as quickly as they could in high school but now that they are full grown adults they feel that their age has made them wise and confident enough to espouse this so called 'wisdom'. I can't have conversations with these people for the most part anymore. I usually try to apply logic by asking them simple questions - if the malathion kills the birds, where do all the bodies go? Or where is the data showing these effects. The answers are usually the same - the government is working with the pesticide companies to hide the problem. I'm exaggerating, but not a whole lot and not at all in some cases. I usually turn the conversation to chemtrails at that point or ask them about Egypcrete. I get blank stares on the last one, not surprisingly.

Organic is great if you only want to feed your friends and the elites that can afford it, not so much for the rest of the world. It's a niche market for those that really don't grasp science very well. Of course given that the standard interpretation is that organic "doesn't use pesticides at all" and no effort is forthcoming from the media to dispel that myth, it's not really a surprise. Again, most flee science education at first opportunity, so toxicological discussions make no sense, like so many other subjects. In era nearly devoid of personal responsibility it's rather unreasonable to expect people to seek out information or actually admit they made a mistake regardless of the subject matter.

At the same time though it's not like the media hasn't been told and that information isn't out there - it's just really boring and flys in the face of common "wisdom". In a world where Wikipedia is the foremost resource for many, can we expect anything more? Dumb it down baby, we still have a ways to go to the lowest common denominator.

Overtired, cranky and injured. So yeah, a little sour tonight.


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