Toxic pesticides causing an Insect ‘apocalypse’ in the U.S.
America’s agricultural landscape is now 48 times more toxic to honeybees, and likely other insects, than it was 25 years ago, almost entirely due to the widespread use of so-called neonicotinoid pesticides, according to a new study published today in the journal PLOS One.
This enormous rise in toxicity matches the sharp declines in bees, butterflies, and other pollinators as well as birds, says co-author Kendra Klein, a senior staff scientist at Friends of the Earth US.
“This is the second Silent Spring. Neonics are like a new DDT, except they are a thousand times more toxic to bees than DDT was,” Klein says in an interview.