Dave Goulson at The Conversation tells us about insecticides on British crops. Last year on oilseed rape (rapeseed, canola, Brassica napus) Prof Goulson found the neonicotinoid called thiamethoxam (which, by now, is temporarily banned), the pyrethroids called beta-cyfluthrin and alpha-cypermethrin, and the fungicide called prothioconazole (which doesn’t harm bees directly, but it amplifies the action of neonics and pyrethroids). As Prof Goulson says, for bees this is a chemical blitz.
Integrated Pest Managements (IPM) is being suggested as a good option for Asian rice farmers but here in Europe, not everybody’s heard of IPM.
Prof Goulson says, ‘It’s hard to escape the conclusion that current farming practices are not designed to benefit farmers, who pay through the nose for expensive pesticides, or consumers, who are offered expensive, pesticide-drenched food, or the environment, which is continually contaminated with a cocktail of chemicals. It is hard to see how they are arranged for any benefit other than maximising agrochemical company profits.’