Neonicotinoid corn seed treatments likely ‘far exceed demonstrable need’, study says

| May 25, 2017
Seed Treatments
Seeds treated with a neonicotinoid insecticide.
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Nearly every foraging honey bee in the state of Indiana will encounter neonicotinoids during corn planting season, and the common seed treatments produced no improvement in crop yield, according to a Purdue University study.

[Researchers] measured the drift of … neonicotinoids from fields and found that the insecticides can settle on flowers up to 100 meters from the edge of the planted fields, the farthest distance examined in the study.

In the same study, the researchers found no evidence that neonicotinoids increased yield in corn. The authors tested untreated corn seed, and seeds coated with neonicotinoids and fungicides at both high and low doses, at three locations around Indiana. There were differences in pest damage at one site, but those did not translate into yield loss.

Related article:  Decisions about neonicotinoids should be 'science-driven not 'activist-driven'

The authors conclude that the lack of benefit for corn yields in their study, as well as inconsistent findings in U.S. corn, soybean and oilseed rape in Europe, “suggest that the current use levels of insecticidal seed treatments in North American row crops are likely to far exceed the demonstrable need, and our results likely reflect a scarcity of target pests.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Corn seed treatment insecticides pose risks to honey bees, yield benefits elusive

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