Neonicotinoids cause significant declines in wild bee populations

Yet more evidence that neonicotinoids are harming beneficial insects such as bees.

And more here:



In 2010, bee colonies recovered after neonicotinoids ban

It looks like Italy banned neonicotinoids in 2009 and by 2010, the bee colonies had started to recover. Here’s a link for more information:

This seems like pretty definitive proof to me.

Am I missing something or does it seem like the EPA is really dropping the ball here ?

The only thing I can think of is that the higher ups in the EPA are more concerned about their careers after they leave the EPA than they are about doing their current jobs with courage and integrity.

Here’s a quote by Upton Sinclair which I think may be relevant here:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

In this case, let’s modify the quote a bit, to “It is difficult to get a person to understand something when his/her future salary/career depends upon them not understanding it !”

Feel free to post if you have a less cynical explanation for what’s going on with the EPA with regard to bees and neonicotinoids..


For a great jajang myun recipe..

Jajang myun is a very popular black bean noodle dish from Korea. It was originally a Chinese dish that Koreans adapted and, I believe, greatly improved on. In terms of taste, it’s like lo mein with black bean sauce.

I just made some jajang myun from the site and I was very happy with the results.

You can check it out here: Jajang Myun Recipe. I used cubed pork bellies for the meat and substituted potato starch in place of the cornstarch, to avoid that chalky taste that cornstarch sometimes adds. Also, when I added the potato starch at the end of the cooking process, I turned off the heat and let the residual heat of the dish incorporate the potato starch, since I had read that you should not boil potato starch..

Enjoy !

Captcha Algorithm Suxx

Man, this algorithm really sucks. I just tried using a site that had this form. Basically, it has you enter in two words that are badly handwritten. One of the two words is usually a nonsense word, which makes it very difficult to figure out. There’s a refresh option that allows you to request two new words. I ended up clicking on refresh about 10 times before I found a pair of “words” that I was 95% sure that I could get right.

This is freaking idiotic. I know the algorithm is designed to rule out machine generated input, but if it rules out 90-95% of human generated input, it’s a massive FAIL.

Again, if the two captcha words were always guaranteed to be fairly common English words, it would not be as much of a problem.  But my experience with Captcha is that one of the words is usually gobbley-gook, which makes it very difficult to get right.

Could neonicotinoids be a major causative factor in the decline of ladybugs ?,0,2008724.story

Well, it looks like, in addition to honeybees, ladybugs are also in decline. 

Recent studies have shown a link between neonicontinoids and the colony collapse disorder of honeybees. It’s not much of a stretch to hypothesize that neonicotinoids, which were engineered to kill certain insects, might have an adverse effect on most insects..

I think historians in the future will look at our time and wonder why there has been such a dearth of common sense when it came to neonicontinoids. I am reminded of the Forrest Gump quote, “Stupid is as stupid does..” (sigh).


Could there be a link between Neonicotinoids and autism ?

Neonicotinoids are a widely used pesticide that recent studies have found may be a major factor behind colony collapse disorder in bees.  I remember thinking a while back that some of the symptoms of colony collapse disorder were pretty similar to the kinds symptoms that neonicotinoids evoked in pests, to destroy them..

Someone should do a study to see if autism rates are related to the prevalence of neonicotinoids in the food and environment. Wikipedia says, “[neonicotinoids] may adversely affect human health, especially the developing brain.”
And we know that autism is a brain developmental disorder.
Are there any enterprising scientists out there ? This could be a Nobel prize winning research if it turns out to be strongly correlative..

“Animal studies have found that neonicotinoid exposures during gestation and early life may permanently alter nervous system functions. ” (quoted from ).  One of the studies was done on rats, which found that neonicotinoids had an adverse impact on their neurological development.

If neonicotinoids can have an adverse impact on rats, it seems likely that it would have a similar adverse impact on human neurological development.

“USDA produce testing has found imidacloprid [a  neonicotinoid insecticide] on 23 kinds of fruits and vegetables, including apples, peaches, broccoli and blueberries.” (also from ).

One question that immediately comes to mind is, what levels of neonicotinoids are present in the foods that we eat ?  And can we correlate the amount of neonicotinoids ingested during the first couple years of a child’s life with the incidence of autism ?

I think it’s imperative that someone investigate this issue thoroughly. Looking at the facts: 1. Neonicotinoids are now one of the most widely used pesticides in the world; 2. autism rates have been rising significantly; 3. We know that neonotinoids can adversely affect the developing brain of rats ( “Studies conducted on rats suggest that the neonicotinoids may adversely affect human health, especially the developing brain”, from ); 4. We humans are mammals, just as rats are, so it’s feasible that the developing human brain could be adversely affected by neonicotinoids.

Here’s a similar example with cancer to make it clearer: 1. product X is one of the most widely used pesticides in the world; 2. product X causes cancer in rats.

From these two pieces of information, it's obvious that a study must be done to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that product X does *not* cause cancer in humans, because the existing data strongly suggests that it *will* cause cancer in humans.

Now take a look at the facts of the  neonicotinoids issue.  It's pretty much the same argument, except instead of causing cancer in rats, it causes brain development disorders in rats.

Here’s an interesting quote that indicates that impaired neural development can result from exposure to pesticides:

“Neurodevelopment can be adversely impacted when gene expression is altered by dietary transcription factors, such as zinc insufficiency or deficiency, or by exposure to toxic substances found in our environment, such as mercury or organophosphate pesticides.. ” []

Here’s a (purely imaginary) conversation I wish had taken place during the initial development of neonicotinoids:

Scientist: This [neonicontinoid] is a brand new pesticide that will kill harmful insects by attacking their central nervous system.

Dept. Head: How does it distinguish harmful insects from beneficial insects, such as bees ?

Scientist: It doesn’t.

Dept. Head: So it would probably harm the central nervous system of beneficial insects as well.. For a Ph.D., you sure don’t have much common sense. Dude, go back to the drawing board and try again. Don’t bring me a half-assed solution that ends up creating more problems than it solves. You know, if we kill all the bees with this pesticide, we’ll eventually get blamed and end up going out of business..