Why Insecticide Maker’s Request Should Bee Rebuked


Everyone knows how harmful man-made agricultural chemicals are for the environment.

Everyone except the chemical company Syngenta, of course.

That’s because Syngenta is now trying for the widespread use of its toxic thiamethoxam insecticide, which kills bees, and serves as something that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must respond to no later than October 6.

Thiamethoxam is included in the neonicotinoid group of bug-killing chemicals. This is a class that’s infamous for ruining the health of flying pollinators, while also being very tightly linked to the frightening colony collapse disorder. Neonicitinoids have even been found to mix the bees’ brains, disrupting their normal GPS system while making it almost impossible for them to scavenge and make it back to their respective hive. This chemical typically gets used to cover seeds, a task which is dangerous for bees anyway, because the systemic chemical ends up floating into pollen.

To make things worse, Syngenta is even asking the EPA to accept the harmful chemical for use as a leaf spray, which means it could be doused on a whopping 250 million acres of U.S. farmland that includes corn, wheat, soybeans, and alfalfa. But that’s not all: the Pesticide Action Network claims Syngenta is even pushing the government to raise the allowable levels of this insecticide in your food by a whopping– brace yourself– 40,000,000 percent!

That’s a bit of a problem, to say the least, especially considering that thiamethoxam residues are being consumed already. United States Department of Agriculture information even shows that non-organic summer squash, bell peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, and hot peppers already hold scary amounts of the stuff. The chemical has already been associated with both reproductive tract and kidney damage. Raising the application of the harmful insecticide could make it so it’s more likely to drift into nearby yards, fields, and playgrounds, while even showing up more often in surface waters.  

Even if you’re not the biggest bee-fan in the world, there are still tons of reasons to worry. For one, bees offer millions of dollars worth of free pollination each year, which is needed for crop growth. Also, they give us that sweet honey, while bees even make medical-grade manuka honey in certain regions of the world that helps heal bodily injuries and treat ailments that often include infections that don’t respond to normal antibiotics.

If you’ve had enough of this frightening, brain-harming insecticide, just go organic whenever you can!

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Shawn Spencer-Smith

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