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‘Hyperalarming’ Study Shows Massive Insect Loss

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

If you hadn’t heard it already, The Washington Post is shouting it out: Insects around the world are in a crisis, and dying off in massive declines, even in pristine forests where you wouldn’t expect such a thing to be happening. Before you comment that a few less six-legged creatures would be welcome, be forewarned: The loss affects our very food chain, from birds and other animals that depend on insects to live, to pollination-dependent vegetables on your plate.

While scientists in this article suggest that one way to stop the bugpocalypse is to plant a garden with native plants that flower every year, I am disappointed that they didn’t focus more on pesticides that are killing off insects around the world. For example, neonicotinoids are harsh pesticides that are connected with bee deaths.

In recent years, the acreage of crops treated with neonicotinoids has skyrocketed, as has the volume used. The thing is, with soybeans alone, an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that treating soybean seeds with neonicotinoids provides no significant financial or agricultural benefits for farmers — so why are we even using them?

One reason is because risk assessments for pesticide application often consider only the present time of use and don't factor in that usage may increase over time or the modes of application may change. The same is true with herbicides, as well.

For example, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide has been continuously increasing since it was introduced in the 1970s. When it was first introduced, Monsanto promised their miracle product would reduce herbicide and pesticide usage both, while increasing crop production.

But now we know the exact opposite has happened, and we not only are using more Roundup than ever, but are “graduating” to stronger, more lethal products like dicamba and 2,4D as Roundup loses its effectiveness. To make matters worse, they’ve even come up with a new “hat trick,” combining neonicotinoid-coated seeds with a Roundup/dicamba premix.

The bottom line is we are in a worldwide crisis — and it’s NOT that we need a new, better pesticide or herbicide. We need a worldwide movement to stop this, but it can begin with you. You can get involved by actively seeking out and supporting organic, regenerative farmers, who have decided that avoiding chemical-treated seeds and excessive chemical spraying is essential to nurturing soil health, protecting the environment and growing nutritious food.

And, yes, go ahead and plant that flower garden — and while you’re at it, try a little “farming” of your own by planting easy to grow herbs and vegetables, too.

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