30 years ago neonicotinoids dazzled farmers, became widely used, applied to crops, ornamental trees, and home gardens globally. Problems began immediately. Neonicotinoids have been blamed for killing bees. But while the European Union moved to ban the insecticide, little has been done in the U.S.
What’s different here? The Intercept obtained documents that show a vast strategy by the pesticide industry to influence academics, beekeepers, and regulators, to divert attention from pesticide harm, to push the public into focusing on other factors that could harm bees; industry prevailed, reaping massive profits. Revenue is up 100% since 2010; the global neonic industry generated $4.42 billion in 2018. Effects are being seen in die-offs of several insect species; the poison is reaching birds and large mammals, some nearing extinction.
[Corporate Strangulation of Regulatory Processes]