According to a new report this week pesticides are risking our food supply. The researchers say that everything from soil bacteria to bees are being harmed by our excessive use. We are reliant on bees for 75% of fertilisation of the worlds crops. We rely on earthworms to improve and maintain soil structure. Both are being put at risk say the authors since many pesticides such as neonicotinoids and fipronil are being added to seeds routinely. This means that a variety of creatures come into contact with them, not just bees. There is almost no data on the toxicity to wildlife of these chemicals.
Its ironic that something we think we need to produce food these pesticides are risking our food supply. There is another problem of course, that is these chemicals are all oil derived. We are running out of oil, in the short to medium term this means chemicals and therefore food costs will rise. In the long term it means doing without which many claim agriculture will struggle to do. I’ve seen the problem lack of bees can make this spring (this time weather related), with small crops of apples and broad beans on the way. If really pesticides are risking our food supply maybe we should start seeking alternatives to them now.
Graphic above from the group that produced the report which can be found here.