Systemic Pesticides:Chemicals you can't wash off

Endangered species esp. plants and animals (ii) impact of overuse of chemicals such as fertilizers, herbicides, & pest controls on our lives (iii) wild-life of Pakistan and (iv) other interesting notes about the environmental issues again relevant to Pakistan.

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mikhurram
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Systemic Pesticides:Chemicals you can't wash off

Post by mikhurram » November 21st, 2013, 8:39 pm

Majority of the fruits and vegetables available in our surroundings are grown by making use of systemic pesticides. We often think that side effects of these chemical sprays can be eliminated completely or mitigated by washing. Turns out that this notion is false which can be read in the article below. U.S.A's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently reviewing the environmental safety of using Imidacloprid often discussed in the forum. The review report is expected to come out in 2014.
I remember Newton Sahib had also advised caution regarding the usage of Imidacloprid. The article validates his point of view.

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Hamad Ahmed Kisana
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Re: Systemic Pesticides:Chemicals you can't wash off

Post by Hamad Ahmed Kisana » November 21st, 2013, 8:57 pm

sorry sir..file is not readable.very small words.

mikhurram
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Country: Pakistan
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Gardening Interests: Rose, Iris, Daylilies, Bulbs, Rhizomes, Perennial flowers & Fragrant plants.

Re: Systemic Pesticides:Chemicals you can't wash off

Post by mikhurram » November 21st, 2013, 9:07 pm

Thank you for pointing it out that it's difficult to read the text which i should have realised. Fortunately a copy of this article is also available online which is as follows.
regards

Systemic Pesticides: Chemicals You Can’t Wash Off
Washing or peeling fruits and vegetables won’t protect you from systemic pesticides spread throughout the plant's tissues.

October/November 2010
http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-a ... nzraw.aspx
By Barbara Pleasant

In conventional food production systems, not all pesticides remain on a plant’s exterior. Systemic pesticides are chemicals that are actually absorbed by a plant when applied to seeds, soil, or leaves. The chemicals then circulate through the plant’s tissues, killing the insects that feed on them. Use of these pesticides on food crops began in 1998, and has steadily increased during the past 10 years. Unlike with traditional insecticides, you can’t wash or peel off systemic pesticide residues.

The four main systemics used on food crops (listed below) are members of the nitroguanidine/neonicotinoid group of chemicals, which has been implicated in the mysterious colony collapse disorder that has killed millions of bees. (See our article Colony Collapse: Are Potent Pesticides Killing Honeybees?)

Imidacloprid can be applied to many vegetables (including tomatoes and leafy greens) right up to the day they’re harvested.

Thiamethoxam was first approved as a seed treatment for corn in 2002, and thiamethoxam products that are applied to the soil have since been approved for use on most vegetable and fruit crops.

Clothianidin is used as a seed treatment on canola, cereals, corn and sugar beets, and as a soil treatment for potatoes.

Dinotefuran can be applied to soil or sprayed on leafy greens, potatoes, and cucumber family crops.

When the Pesticide Action Network reviewed the results of pesticide residue tests conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1999 to 2007, numerous samples contained residues of these systemic pesticides. For example, 74 percent of conventionally grown fresh lettuce and 70 percent of broccoli samples showed imidacloprid residues. Clothianidin was found in potatoes, thiamethoxam showed up in strawberries and sweet peppers, and some collard green samples were laced with dinotefuran.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a comprehensive review of the environmental safety of imidacloprid, but we won’t have results until 2014! In the meantime, the state of California initiated its own reevaluation (currently ongoing) of all four systemics in February 2009. Among its reasons, California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation cited reports of eucalyptus nectar and pollen with imidacloprid levels up to 550 parts per billion — nearly three times the 185 parts per billion needed to kill honeybees. And deadly levels of these systemic poisons are even showing up in leaf guttation drops (water droplets that plants sometimes exude). According to a 2009 report in the Journal of Economic Entomology, “When bees consume guttation drops, collected from plants grown from neonicotinoid-coated seeds, they encounter death within a few minutes.”

Equally disturbing, it appears that nitroguanidine pesticides can persist in soil for 500 days or more, which creates a high risk scenario. After one or two applications, plants grown in treated soil may produce toxic pollen, nectar, and guttation droplets for more than two seasons. All the while, the entire treated area will be moderately toxic to beneficial earthworms, carabid beetles, lady beetles, predatory pirate bugs and more.

There is no scientific evidence yet that says food laced with neonicotinoids will harm humans, but why is the EPA allowing systemic pesticides on food plants in the first place? Do people really want to eat pumpkins that are so full of poison that they kill every cucumber beetle that dares take a bite? Looking beyond food plants, does the use of systemic pesticides to grow perfect roses justify the deaths of millions of bees and other insects? We need to set things right and learn (once again) this important lesson: When we let a novel, man-made chemical loose in the food chain, we can’t be entirely certain of what will happen next. This new contamination of our food is yet another reason to grow and buy organic.

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