The Neonicotinoid View- Is Sulfoxaflor The Next Systemic?

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What do you do when you have a flawed technology? You come up with an advanced version. This is a common practice with manufacturers of cell phones, computers and even with agro-chemicals. With the race to get sulfoxaflor, (a sap-feeding insecticide) “emergency” registration, the question remains, what is the rush to get this new systemic on the market?

In 2010, Clothianidan was also granted registration without having completed the requirements for registration as mandated by law. Clothianidin is of the neonicotinoid family of systemic pesticides, which are taken up by a plant’s vascular system and expressed through pollen, nectar and gutation droplets from which bees then forage and drink. Scientists are concerned about the mix and cumulative effects of the multiple pesticides bees are exposed to in these ways. Neonicotinoids are of particular concern because they have cumulative, sublethal effects on insect pollinators that correspond to CCD symptoms – namely, neurobehavioral and immune system disruptions.

Is this new agro-chemical going to improve agriculture? What effects, if any, will this have on the bees as well as other pollinators?

In this special series produced by The Organic View called “The Neonicotinoid View”, host, June Stoyer, is joined by special guest host, Tom Theobald to discuss the impact of sulfoxaflor. Tom Theobald is a founding member of the Boulder County Beekeepers’ Association. In July 2010 Theobald wrote an article about clothianidin and bees for Bee Culture magazine. “Do We Have a Pesticide Blowout” ignited a conversation about the connection between systemic pesticides, specifically clothianidin, and declining bee populations in the United States. Stay tuned!

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