Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy
. Farming News .

Two insecticides a risk for human nervous system: EU
by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) Dec 17, 2013

The EU warned Tuesday that two widely used insecticides, one of which has been implicated in catastrophic bee population decline, may pose a risk to human health by harming brain development.

The neonicotinoid insecticides acetamiprid and imidacloprid "may affect the developing human nervous system," the European Food Safety Authority said.

This marked the first time such a link has been made with the neonicotinoid family of pesticides, three of which the European Union restricted earlier this year on concerns they were causing a dramatic fall in bee numbers and so threatened food crop pollination.

EFSA experts wanted "some guidance levels for acceptable exposure ... to be lowered while further research is carried out to provide more reliable data on developmental neurotoxicity (DNT)," it said.

The findings were based on recent research and existing data on "the potential of acetamiprid and imidacloprid to damage the developing human nervous system -- in particular the brain."

The research suggested the two insecticides "may adversely affect the development of neurons and brain structures associated with functions such as learning and memory," EFSA said in a statement.

"It concluded that some current guidance levels for acceptable exposure ... may not be protective enough to safeguard against developmental neurotoxicity and should be reduced," the EFSA added.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said it noted the EFSA findings which it will onpass for comment to the manufacturers concerned -- German giant Bayer for imidacloprid and Nisso Chemical of Japan for acetamiprid.

"In principle, the next step would be to amend the reference values," a Commission spokesman said.

Critics were not necessarily totally reassured but did welcome the EFSA announcement.

"Reducing the thresholds is not necessarily the solution," said French Green MEP Michele Rivasi.

"We must also ask the question about the effects of the whole 'cocktail' and the cumulative impact over time following repeated exposure," Rivasi said.

At the same time, it was at least positive that the EFSA, often criticised for not acting forcefully enough, had taken this stand, she said.

In May, the EU restricted for two years the use of imidacloprid -- cited in Tuesday's action -- and clothianidin, both produced by Bayer, along with thiamethoxam made by its Swiss peer Syngenta, citing the threat to bees.

In July, it restricted the use of another insecticide from a different class, fipronil, made by Germany's BASF, for similar reasons.

Bee numbers have slumped in Europe and the United States in recent years due to a mysterious plague dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD), sparking concerns crop pollination and thus food production could be put dangerously at risk.

It is estimated bees account for some 80 percent of plant pollination by insects and are absolutely crucial for fruit production.

The companies involved insist that their products are not at fault and Sygenta and Bayer said in August they would take legal action against Brussels.


Related Links
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Scientists help adapt Brazil farming to climate change
Brasilia (AFP) Dec 16, 2013
Hundreds of scientists are helping Brazil's giant agricultural sector prepare for the effects of climate change and anticipate pests that hit neighboring countries. Spearheading the effort is the Brazilian Agriculture Research Corporation (Embrapa), a state agency tasked with developing and extending technology to support sustainable farming. "We have 400 investigators currently focusing ... read more

Mitsubishi Electric Awarded Contract for GOSAT-2 Satellite System

CryoSat Tracks Storm Surge

Juno Gives Starship-Like View Of Earth Flyby

China-Brazil satellite fails to enter orbit

Galileo achieves its first airborne tracking

'Smart' wig navigates by GPS, monitors brainwaves

CIA, Pentagon trying to hinder construction of GLONASS stations in US

GPS 3 Prototype Communicates With GPS Constellation

Four degree rise will end vegetation 'carbon sink'

Tropical forests mitigate extreme weather events

Low-cost countries are not the best conservation investment

Significant advance reported with genetically modified poplar trees

Seaweed Energy Solutions (SES) acquires wild seaweed operation in Norway

Biorefinery could put South Australian forest industry back on growth track

Algae to crude oil: Million-year natural process takes minutes in the lab

Ground broken on $6 million Hungarian farm biogas plant

Prothea advised on purchase of 6.7 MW solar photovoltaic farms operating in Italy

DuPont Solar Materials Meet Sharp Corporation's Stringent Quality Standards

Solar Energy Solidarity donates products for three solar installations in Africa

Microgrid Solar and Doe Run To Provide Solar Upgrades at Herculaneum High

Austria's wind industry laments new zoning restrictions

Wind energy: TUV Rheinland certifies PowerWind wind turbines

Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund acquires 16 MW wind power asset from O2

Morgan Advanced Materials Delivers Superior Insulation Solution To Wind Farm

Top German court throws out suit over giant coal mine

Australian coal projects at risk of being 'stranded'

China mine explosion kills 21

Coal rush ravages Indonesian Borneo

Ancient bones offer peek at history of cats in China

Former China death row inmate awarded court payout

Rights abuses persist in China despite plan to scrap camps: Amnesty

Human rights a matter for China, not US: Beijing

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement