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IN REPLY to Dr Julian Little’s letter of November 26 on neonicotinoid use, it is almost impossible to think of any branch of modern agriculture – cereals, rice, fruit, etc – that does not use neonicotinoids, which are probably Bayer’s most sold product.
Bayer will point to the low mammalian toxicity of these products, but we are being protected in this instance by our blood brain barrier, which prevents neuro-toxins from affecting the brain.
Unfortunately, the foetuses and babies of several months have not fully developed this and there is a clear risk of them being exposed.
As far as other life goes, butterflies, bees, caterpillars, spiders and earthworms are all being killed off, so no food for birds or fish and the web of life collapses. The earth becomes a sterile desert.
Research in the US and at the University of Stirling shows that trace amounts of neonicotinoids as found in practice have serious effects on bee health. Australian honey production does not depend so much on proximity to commercial crops.
It is true varroa is a major factor – that and neonicotinoids are the “perfect storm”.
Bayer has the capability of producing safer treatments and should do so.
Chris Clayton, Hempland Drive, York.