Neonicotinoids chemicals use on crops and losses of wild bee species

Decline of wild bee species in England linked to pesticide use

The decline of England’s wild bees has been linked for the first time to the use of controversial neonicotinoid pesticides on oilseed rape farms.

Neonicotinoids are applied to the seed prior to planting and can be transported to all tissues of a crop, meaning creatures that feed on the nectar will ingest them.

The various effects such pesticides might have on bees have been documented before, but there was no strong evidence linking them to long-term losses of wild bee species.

Decline of wild bee species in England linked to pesticide use, newscientist, 16 August 2016.

Now, Ben Woodcock at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) in Oxfordshire, UK, and his colleagues have studied data on 62 species collected by volunteers from more than 31,818 surveys across more than 4000 square kilometres of land.

They looked at bee populations between 1994 and 2011. In England, farmers first started using neonicotinoids on oilseed rape in 2002.

Controversial insecticides linked to wild bee declines, nature, 16 August 2016.

They found the average decline in populations across all bee species was 7 per cent since 2002. Some species, such the Bronze Furrow bee and the Spined Mason bee declined by 20 per cent or more.


Wild bee declines have been ascribed in part to neonicotinoid insecticides.

Impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England, nature, 16 August 2016.

Image march-against-monsanto.

While short-term laboratory studies on commercially bred species (principally honeybees and bumblebees) have identified sub-lethal effects, there is no strong evidence linking these insecticides to losses of the majority of wild bee species. We relate 18 years of UK national wild bee distribution data for 62 species to amounts of neonicotinoid use in oilseed rape.

Using a multi-species dynamic Bayesian occupancy analysis, we find evidence of increased population extinction rates in response to neonicotinoid seed treatment use on oilseed rape. Species foraging on oilseed rape benefit from the cover of this crop, but were on average three times more negatively affected by exposure to neonicotinoids than non-crop foragers.

Our results suggest that sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids could scale up to cause losses of bee biodiversity. Restrictions on neonicotinoid use may reduce population declines.

Menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer: the true size of the increased risk

British study finds combined HRT nearly triples risk of breast cancer

2% of women monitored for six years got breast cancer – and they were 2.7 times more likely to contract it if they were on combined HRT than if they were not.

Aaccording to the study’s findings, combined HRT increases the risk of breast cancer by 170%.


Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) increases breast cancer risk; however, most cohort studies omit MHT use after enrolment and many infer menopausal age.

We used information from serial questionnaires from the UK Generations Study cohort to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for breast cancer among post-menopausal women with known menopausal age, and examined biases induced when not updating data on MHT use and including women with inferred menopausal age.

Menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer: what is the true size of the increased risk?, nature, 28 July 2016.

Among women recruited in 2003–2009, at 6 years of follow-up, 58 148 had reached menopause and 96% had completed a follow-up questionnaire. Among 39 183 women with known menopausal age, 775 developed breast cancer, and the HR in relation to current oestrogen plus progestogen MHT use (based on 52 current oestrogen plus progestogen MHT users in breast cancer cases) relative to those with no previous MHT use was 2.74 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.05–3.65) for a median duration of 5.4 years of current use, reaching 3.27 (95% CI: 1.53–6.99) at 15+ years of use. The excess HR was underestimated by 53% if oestrogen plus progestogen MHT use was not updated after recruitment, 13% if women with uncertain menopausal age were included, and 59% if both applied. The HR for oestrogen-only MHT was not increased (HR=1.00; 95% CI: 0.66–1.54).

British study finds combined HRT nearly triples risk of breast cancer, the guardian, 23 August 2016.

Image The Lucky Tourist.

Lack of updating MHT status through follow-up and inclusion of women with inferred menopausal age is likely to result in substantial underestimation of the excess relative risks for oestrogen plus progestogen MHT use in studies with long follow-up, limited updating of exposures, and changing or short durations of use.

Poor Parents or just Bisphenol A?

BPA exposure linked to changes in parenting behavior in mice

Video published on 28 May 2015 by mubondlsc.

California mice exposed to bisphenol A (BPA) or ethinyl estradiol changed their parenting behavior, according to an MU Bond LSC study by Cheryl Rosenfeld and Sarah Johnson.

Even more intriguing is how mothers that mated with endocrine-exposed fathers altered their behavior toward their pups.

The chemical is found in store receipts, cardboard and hard plastics, with more than 8 billion tons being manufactured every year.

More Information

  • BPA Exposure Linked To Poor Parenting, living on earth, August 5, 2016.
  • Disruption of Parenting Behaviors in California Mice, a Monogamous Rodent Species, by Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, PLOS one, June 3, 2015.
  • Effects of Developmental Bisphenol A Exposure on Reproductive-Related Behaviors in California Mice (Peromyscus californicus): A Monogamous Animal Model, PLOS one, February 6, 2013.
  • Watch our EDCs video playlist on YouTube.

BPA Effect on Development and Behavior

BPA exposure linked to changes in parenting behavior in mice

Video published on 11 Feb 2013 by mubondlsc.

Cheryl Rosenfeld has spent five years researching bisphenol A (BPA) to discern its effect on development and behavior in mice.

The chemical is found in store receipts, cardboard and hard plastics, with more than 8 billion tons being manufactured every year.

Rosenfeld, a University of Missouri Bond Life Sciences Center researcher, hopes her work will help shed light on how BPA may affect us all throughout life.

More Information

  • BPA Exposure Linked To Poor Parenting, living on earth, August 5, 2016.
  • Disruption of Parenting Behaviors in California Mice, a Monogamous Rodent Species, by Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, PLOS one, June 3, 2015.
  • Effects of Developmental Bisphenol A Exposure on Reproductive-Related Behaviors in California Mice (Peromyscus californicus): A Monogamous Animal Model, PLOS one, February 6, 2013.
  • Watch our EDCs video playlist on YouTube.

Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment in Cancer

An Opportunity for Improvement


Over the past 30 years, awareness and screening have led to an emphasis on early diagnosis of cancer.

Although the goals of these efforts were to reduce the rate of late-stage disease and decrease cancer mortality, secular trends and clinical trials suggest that these goals have not been met; national data demonstrate significant increases in early-stage disease, without a proportional decline in later-stage disease.

Unbelievable scam of cancer industry blown wide open: $100 billion a year spent on toxic chemotherapy for many FAKE diagnoses… National Cancer Institute’s shocking admission affects millions of patients, natural news, October 08, 2015.

What has emerged has been an appreciation of the complexity of the pathologic condition called cancer. The word “cancer” often invokes the specter of an inexorably lethal process; however, cancers are heterogeneous and can follow multiple paths, not all of which progress to metastases and death, and include indolent disease that causes no harm during the patient’s lifetime.

Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment in Cancer, An Opportunity for Improvement, JAMA, August 28, 2013.

Image thirteenofclubs.

Better biology alone can explain better outcomes. Although this complexity complicates the goal of early diagnosis, its recognition provides an opportunity to adapt cancer screening with a focus on identifying and treating those conditions most likely associated with morbidity and mortality.

Women and Health Research

Ethical and Legal Issues of Including Women in Clinical Studies, Volume 1, 1994

Appendix C includes a DES case study

In the nineteenth century some scientists argued that women should not be educated because thinking would use energy needed by the uterus for reproduction. The proof? Educated women had a lower birth rate. Today’s researchers can only shake their heads at such reasoning. Yet professional journals and the popular press are increasingly criticizing medical research for ignoring women’s health issues.

Women and Health Research examines the facts behind the public’s perceptions about women participating as subjects in medical research. With the goal of increasing researchers’ awareness of this important topic, the book explores issues related to maintaining justice (in its ethical sense) in clinical studies.

Leading experts present general principles for the ethical conduct of research on women–principles that are especially important in the light of recent changes in federal policy on the inclusion of women in clinical research.

Women and Health Research documents the historical shift from a paternalistic approach by researchers toward women and a disproportionate reliance on certain groups for research to one that emphasizes proper access for women as subjects in clinical studies in order to ensure that women receive the benefits of research.

The book addresses present-day challenges to equity in four areas:

  • Scientific–Do practical aspects of scientific research work at cross-purposes to gender equity? Focusing on drug trials, the authors identify rationales for excluding people from research based on demographics.
  • Social and Ethical–The authors offer compelling discussions on subjectivity in science, the evidence for male bias, and issues related to race and ethnicity, as well as the recruitment, retention, and protection of research participants.
  • Legal–Women and Health Research reviews federal research policies that affect the inclusion of women and evaluates the basis for researchers’ fears about liability, citing court cases. Appendix C includes a DES case study.
  • Risk–The authors focus on risks to reproduction and offspring in clinical drug trials, exploring how risks can be identified for study participants, who should make the assessment of risk and benefit for participation in a clinical study, and how legal implications could be addressed.

This landmark study will be of immediate use to the research community, policymakers, women’s health advocates, attorneys, and individuals.

DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

L’action des pesticides sur les enfants

Conséquences de l’exposition aux produits phytosanitaires vus par Berth

Les scientifiques s’alarment, les industriels nient. Et les politiques?
Voir nos posts tagués  (Institut national de veille sanitaire).

Expositions professionnelles aux pesticides : mieux connaître les risques et réduire les expositions

Publication du rapport ANSES, juillet 2016

En France, plus d’un million de professionnels du secteur agricole sont potentiellement exposés aux pesticides. L’Anses s’est autosaisie en 2011 pour mener une expertise collective visant à identifier, évaluer et caractériser les expositions aux pesticides des personnes travaillant dans l’agriculture. Dans l’avis qu’elle a publié le 25/07/2016, l’Anses recommande la diminution des expositions par la réduction du recours aux pesticides, ainsi que différentes mesures de prévention. Par ailleurs, l’Agence recommande d’améliorer les connaissances sur les expositions en conditions réelles d’utilisation, dans un contexte où les données disponibles font aujourd’hui souvent défaut.

  1. AVIS ET RAPPORTS de l’Anses relatifs à “L’exposition des travailleurs agricoles aux pesticides” – Volume 1 – Volume central
  2. Volume 2 : Analyse de la littérature pour les situations françaises
  3. Volume 3 : Etude de cas sur l’élevage ovin
  4. Volume 4 : Etude de cas sur la réentrée en arboriculture
  5. Volume 5 : Usages possibles des statistiques agricoles pour appuyer la caractérisation des exploitations agricoles, des pratiques et des expositions aux pesticides dans l’agriculture en France
  6. Volume 6 : Informations disponibles dans les dispositifs de vigilance, dans les tableaux de maladie professionnelle, dans l’enquête SUMER, et dans les matrices emplois/expositions ou cultures/expositions
  7. Volume 7 : Expositions et homologation des pesticides
  8. Exposition des travailleurs agricoles aux pesticides : Revue systématique de la littérature scientifique disponible sur les expositions aux pesticides des travailleurs agricoles en France. Version janvier 2014.

Impact of engineered nanoparticles on the activity, abundance, and diversity of soil microbial communities

Nanoparticles’ ecological risks: effects on soil microorganisms

Nanotechnology is a key enabling technology predicted to have many societal benefits, but there are also concerns about its risks to the environment. This study reviewed the effects of nanoparticles on soil microorganisms, showing that toxicity depends on the type of particle. The researchers make recommendations for improving environmental risk assessment, including performing experiments in soil and over longer time periods.


Impact of engineered nanoparticles on the activity, abundance, and diversity of soil microbial communities: a review, NCBI PubMed, PMID: 25647498, 2015 Sep.

Magnetic flux lines for nickel nanoparticles by brookhavenlab.

This report presents an exhaustive literature review of the effects of engineered nanoparticles on soil microbial communities.

The toxic effects on microbial communities are highly dependent on the type of nanoparticles considered. Inorganic nanoparticles (metal and metal oxide) seem to have a greater toxic potential than organic nanoparticles (fullerenes and carbon nanotubes) on soil microorganisms.

Detrimental effects of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles on microbial activity, abundance, and diversity have been demonstrated, even for very low concentrations (250 mg kg(-1)), representing a worst case scenario.

Considering that most of the available literature has analyzed the impact of an acute contamination of nanoparticles using high concentrations in a single soil, several research needs have been identified, and new directions have been proposed. The effects of realistic concentrations of nanoparticles based on the concentrations predicted in modelization studies and chronic contaminations should be simulated.

The influence of soil properties on the nanoparticle toxicity is still unknown and that is why it is crucial to consider the ecotoxicity of nanoparticles in a range of different soils. The identification of soil parameters controlling the bioavailability and toxicity of nanoparticles is fundamental for a better environmental risk assessment.

EU pesticide-poisoning data could be harmonised between Member States

Proposed system for classifying pesticide-related poisoning

Pesticide-related poisonings in EU Member States must be reported to the European Commission under current legislation, but there is no standard information collection and reporting system. A new system has been proposed, which harmonises data collection, categorisation and reporting, enabling exposure data to be compared among Member States. The new system would improve the monitoring of pesticides in Europe and aid the identification of emerging problems.


Development of a new categorization system for pesticides exposure to support harmonized reporting between EU Member States, ScienceDirect, Volume 91, Pages 332–340, May 2016.

Pesticide application by ugacommunications.

European legislation requires reporting from Member States on acute poisoning incidents involving pesticides. However, standard rules for data collection and reporting have not yet been set out. The new categorization system presented in this paper is aimed at enabling Member States to gather comparable data and provide standard reporting on pesticide poisoning exposures.

Materials and methods
European Regulations providing separate official categorization of biocidal and plant protection pesticides, were used as a basis to build up a unified pesticide categorization and coding system. Data on selected pesticide exposures collected by Poison Control Centres in six EU countries were reviewed, categorized and reported according to the proposed system.

The resulting pesticide categorization system has two dimensions. The first part identifies the main category of use, i.e. biocide/plant protection pesticide/unknown, and the secondary category of use, e.g. Rodenticides, Insecticides and acaricides. The second part of the system is organized into two levels: level one identifies chemical grouping, e.g. Coumarins, Pyrethrins/pyrethroids, while level two identifies the active compound by using its Chemical Abstract Service Registry Number. The system was used to provide a unified categorization to compare exposures to plant protection and biocidal Rodenticides and Pyrethrins/pyrethroids Insecticides and acaricides identified by six EU member states.

The developed pesticide categorization system was successfully applied to data extracted from different databases and was able to make the required information comparable. The data reported filling in common templates containing a pre-ordinate list of active compounds categorized according the proposed system, highlighted different capabilities in data collection and recording, showing that some of the collaborating centres were not able to distinguish between main categories of pesticide products or provide information on active compounds. The results indicate that a special effort should be dedicated to support detailed data recording at national level. Providing common tools to systematically report to the EU Commission hazardous exposures to pesticides, as well as to other selected categories of products, could allow for data comparability between Member States and greatly improve post marketing surveillance and alerting systems in Europe.