Commentary: No insecticide ban for killing a bird

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Yes, insecticides can kill insects, bees and birds. Let’s get that out of the way right off the bat. Shall we ban the use of all insecticides? My answer is no, but many environmental activists say yes.

Neonicotinoid insecticides are coming under harsh attack from environmental activists that want to blame this family of insecticides for depleting the world’s bee population. They now want to blame bird deaths on this class/family of insecticides.

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) issued a call for the ban of neonicotinoid seed treatments following their sponsorship of a study by a toxicologist who titled his report: “The Impact of the Nation’s Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds.”

It should have been no surprise that insecticide seed treatments have the potential to kill birds. Eating insecticide-coated seeds definitely would be hazardous to the health of a bird. To increase the impact of their nothing-new discovery, the ABC made sure to suggest the birds that might be killed are “song birds.” Nobody wants to kill a song bird.

The ABC further claims the Environmental Protection Agency is not requiring the right tests for determining toxicity plus it has “grossly underestimated the toxicity” of neonicotinoids.

Toxicologists and researchers working with crop protection companies have all the facts and counter arguments to contend there is very limited exposure to bees, birds and other animals by neonicotinoids.

I’m not a toxicologist, but I’ve been involved in reporting on product registration procedures with major crop protection companies. I oversaw the production of a stewardship manual for the use of a highly toxic insecticide. I’ve interviewed toxicologists who submit their findings to the EPA.

But most importantly, I’ve seen crops that were grown with and without insecticide seed treatments. I’ve seen the losses from crops that weren’t properly treated with insecticides. I’ve seen ag retailers using good stewardship in treating seeds, and I’ve seen farmers plant seed in the field using good practices to keep seed from being available for birds to eat.

Using seed treatments to grow more crops to feed more people is important. Is one starving human less important than the isolated death of a bird—most commonly an English/house sparrow, starling or other pest bird?


Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (2) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left

JP    
USA  |  March, 20, 2013 at 03:26 PM

All the starving people are starving because they don’t have any money, hell I throw away enough food every week to feed 5 more people. When are you going to stop when there is no wild life left?

Pat    
WI  |  April, 11, 2013 at 09:40 AM

We have an organic farm and we have no problem with pests because our crops are healthy. You won't have pests if you have healthy crops. We have been poisoning our food for so long. So many people dying of cancer. Some day people will wake up, probably too late for many. So sad.


LPV Seed Treater

The LPV Seed Treater has set a new standard boasting three configurable weighing methods for any-sized operation, a standard 42” ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form