‘Alarmist rhetoric about neonics’ distracts from addressing legitimate bee health issues

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

The controversy surrounding neonicotinoid pesticides – also known as neonics — “is a complicated issue that requires robust debate,” Jon Entine, executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project (GLP), recently told Crop Protection News. Entine, is also a senior fellow at the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy within the World Food Center at the University of California Davis.

Entine thinks there’s been a lot of false scientific-related information released by anti-neonic activist-scientists who are actually campaigning to outlaw the use of neonics. At the same time, according to the GLP, environmentalists appear to be cherry picking evidence and “manipulating data” from independent reports in order to support their predetermined “alarmist” claims about the impact pesticides have on pollinators and other wildlife.

In acknowledging that bee populations have stabilized but do continue to struggle, Entine also said that neonics aren’t to blame and the decline in bees predated the introduction of neonics.

Related article:  CRISPR may allow us to choose the color of butterfly wings

In looking at the big picture, Entine told Crop Protection News that pollinator health is extremely important to agriculture, and pesticides have their place in the industry.

“But there must be science-driven decisions made” about how and what types to use, he said.

In fact, the entire discussion around neonics should be focused on how the AG industry – which finds the use of pesticides necessary to grow crops – should “look for those having the least impact,” Entine said.

Because regardless of what crop is being grown, he added, there will always be concerns about pests.

The goal, Entine said, must be about finding “what’s most effective and does the least amount of collateral damage to the good insects and the soil.”

Read full, original post: Expert: Science-based decisions must guide pollinator pesticide use

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