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Neonicotinoids Pose Ecosystemwide Threat

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • A majority of soybean, corn, canola and sunflower seeds planted in the U.S. are precoated with neonicotinoid insecticides, also known as “neonics.” More than half of garden plants attractive to bees sold at garden centers are also pretreated with these toxic pesticides
  • Neonics have been shown to threaten the entire food chain, having toxic effects not just on pollinators such as bees, but also invertebrates, birds and other wildlife
  • American agricultural land is now 48 times more toxic to insects than it was two decades ago, and between 1992 and 2014, neonicotinoids accounted for 92% of the total acute insecticide toxicity load
  • Neonics affect migration behavior of songbirds by affecting their feeding patterns and fat stores. The chemicals act as a rapid appetite suppressant
  • Research by the EPA in 2014 and 2019 concluded that neonicotinoid-treated seeds provide no significant financial or agricultural benefits for farmers

Unbeknownst to many Americans, a majority of soybean, corn, canola and sunflower seeds planted in the U.S. are precoated with neonicotinoid insecticides, also known as “neonics.” Needless to say, since the chemical is taken up systemically through the plant, it cannot be rinsed off. 

A 2015 report by the American Bird Conservancy revealed neonics were found in congressional cafeteria food, demonstrating just how pervasive they have become in our food supply.


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