Neonic makers might pay for research about neonics on the land

Here in Europe, three insect-killing neonicotinoids are under a temporary ban. During the ban our UK Government is welcoming new research. It’s now become known that pesticide manufacturers might fund some of this research. Vested interests!

Last year my fellow blogger manuelinor at Ecology is Not a Dirty Word told us about scientists calling for the land to be rid of neonics. But soon after that science came out, our UK Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Owen Paterson, at that time) said there wasn’t enough evidence that neonics harm bees. So he assertively refused to vote for or against the ban. One of Mr Paterson’s senior staff, Minister of State David Heath, agreed. Neonics aren’t known to harm bees in the field, said Mr Heath.

I don’t know which of the chemical giants are now offering to pay for science about neonics in the field. But I’m guessing Syngenta and Bayer, who challenged the European ban. Syngenta requested an exemption for autumn-sown oilseed rape (Brassica napus) this year, but soon withdrew that request. Perhaps they think they’ll gain more by paying for evidence.

Perhaps I’m being unfair on Syngenta. They’re proud to support British farmers and they’re behind the international Operation Pollinator.

This is one of the first big issues for Elizabeth Truss, the Secretary of State who took over from Mr Paterson. Will she use her new power to act for transparent research about neonics?

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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7 Responses to Neonic makers might pay for research about neonics on the land

  1. EqFe says:

    Vested interest? Allegations have been made for some years now that Monsanto especially rewards scientist who come to the “right” conclusion in these studies with high paying jobs and/or more research grants. I haven’t seen proof personaly….

    • argylesock says:

      One of the arguments during the ‘Seralini affair’ was about a former Monsanto executive having become prominent at the journal Food and Chemical Toxicity, shortly before FCT retracted Prof Seralini’s paper about feeding Monsanto’s weedkiller to rats.

  2. Debra says:

    The ‘quality’ of research on toxic products that the pesticide industry supplies has been documented by the EPA whistleblower E.G. Vallianatos and science writer McKay Jenkins in Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA. It was published this year I believe. Similar fraudulent science was done by big pharma to convince us to buy SSRIs. It has since come to light that placebo is more effective for those with mild to moderate depression. The industry knew but failed to report. Without independent research these industry studies shouldn’t even be considered,

  3. raziqkakar says:

    a few days before read some posts about the glyphosate, GMOs and health issues especially cancer in human and infertility in cows. I just wrote a piece of manuscript and gave the links which are really useful.
    https://raziqkakar.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/the-poisonous-fields/

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