Organic pesticides substituted for ‘dangerous’ neonicotinoids found far more toxic to bees

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There are two toxic pesticides, Rotenone in Europe and Azadirachtin in the US and Europe, that need to be banned in order to ensure the safety of humans, bees and the environment. There is insufficient data on either of these toxins yet they are tolerated in many markets merely because they are natural bio-pesticides used by organic farmers. A toxin, whether naturally or synthetically produced, is still a toxin with the intended purpose to kill and the evidence is clear – these natural chemicals kill. The hypocrisy of regulators and the organic lobby to come down only on the well-tested synthetic pesticides and look the other way on natural toxins because of the noise created by the green activists is another toxic disease that must be controlled.

[Editor’s note: rotenone has not been used under the US National Organics Program since 2002 and has been banned for use by organic farmers in Canada since 2012. It is still used in some, but not all, European countries. Here is a detailed description of the natural pesticide and its approval status.]

Why then do organic farming organizations 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.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Save the Bees! Ban these two toxic pesticides immediately

  • JohnDoe

    The hypocrisy and blind adherence to the church of organic is deafening.

    • gmoeater

      And, like religious evangelists, they have a scorched-earth policy for anyone who doesn’t kowtow to their fanaticism.

    • Jen Bento

      Rotenone is a last resort for ppl w permithrin resistant scabies and skin mites I am getting eatin alive and rotenone is out of reach God help us

  • James Rasmussen

    Yes, it can be used but is not widely used (no where near the level of
    use of neonics). Also, the National Organic Standards Board voted to remove
    it from the allowed list (ban would go into effect January 2016) and is waiting on USDA to act on that recommendation:

  • Rosalind Dalefield

    Please don’t misuse the word ‘toxin’. A toxin is a poison synthesized by a living organism. ‘Toxin’ is not a synonym for poison or xenobiotic. All toxins are poisons, but not all poisons are toxins.

    • Not sure what you are referring to. Toxin was used correctly in the title. The organic pesticides used to replace neonics are from plant or animal origin–they are “natural” toxins. The word “toxic” is an exact synonym for poisonous.

      • actually toxin is different than poisonous, rather splitting hairs here – but had to agree, for what it’s worth. poisons can be synthetic or natural and toxins are only naturally produced (usually an a defense mechanism- or bad luck amensalism)

      • Rosalind Dalefield

        A toxin is a poison synthesized by a living organism. A synthetic copy, even if it is chemically identical, is not a toxin.

  • lajaw

    Concerning Rotenone, the EPA is the governing regulatory agency for its legal sale and distribution in the United States, and it is no longer registered for uses other than for fish kill, it is not available for purchase by an organic producer in this country. Using it for anything else would be off-label and illegal.
    Azadirachtin is biodegradable (it degrades within 100 hours when exposed to light and water) and shows very low toxicity to mammals (the LD50 in rats is > 3,540 mg/kg making it practically non-toxic). Can we say the same for neonicotinoids?

    • Pete Asztalos

      “…it is not available for purchase by an organic producer in this country.”

      I’m in America. What country are you in?

      • lajaw

        Pyrethrin is not Rotenone. That product does not contain Rotenone. And that product is not OMRI registered for use in Organic production. Sorry, try again.

        • Pete Asztalos

          Yeah, I’ll try again with the same damned link that you didn’t bother to read:

          “For use on vegetables, fruits, roses, flowers and even delicate ornamentals”

          “Ingredients Rotenone 1.10% W/w Other Cube Extractives 2.20% Pyrethrin .80%”

          • lajaw

            You are wrong again. Those are old labels. Take a look at the MSDS for that product.


            There is NO Rotenone listed as an ingredient. Please, do some research before relying on retailers info. Google is your friend. And yes, I know what I’m talking about. Shame you don’t though.

          • lajaw

            And here is a reply from the manufacturer,

            “Thank you for your email. No, as rotenone has been taken off the market by the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency. Any product that contains rotenone should not be used and should also be properly disposed of. Should you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.
            Warm Regards,
            Rachelle Janiga
            Consumer Service Specialist”

            You are welcome to make your own inquiry if you have enough gumption to look for yourself. I’ll excuse your ignorance. I farm. So I’m up on most of this information.

        • Pete Asztalos

          Here’s another link, you uninformed liar, from a real ‘Murikan retailer:

          Now do you *still* think that you know what you’re talking about?

  • lntan Baharuddin

    hmm.. l attended a bio-pest formulation seminar on 1st of June hoping to get organic way to control pests in my garden, so Neem leaves were
    recommended to be blended with chilli, garlic, water & kerosene ( inflammable) l was skeptical. Thanks for the info ya.

  • Gene

    who writes this misleading and inflammatory stuff?

    it took me 3 minutes to figure out your story dosent hold water

    “Based on results of toxicity tests, risks to human health are not expected from use of these active ingredients.”

    “Azadirachtin is relatively harmless to spiders, butterflies, and insects such as bees that pollinate crops and trees, ladybugs that consume aphids, and wasps that act as parasites on various crop pests. This is because neem products must be ingested to be effective. Thus, insects that feed on plant tissue succumb, while those that feed on nectar or other insects rarely contact significant concentrations of neem products.”

    Status:Allowed with Restrictions”

    “rotenone is, or should be, used only as a last resort in organic gardening and farming”