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Three-quarters of honey contains pesticides

Three-quarters of the honey worldwide contains residues of neonicotinoid, shows off Swiss research in Science. The concentrations are not a danger to the public health, but for bees and other important pollinators.

Honey © istock

Scientists from the Université de Neuchâtel, investigated 198 honingstalen of local beekeepers all over the world. Their conclusion is staggering: in 75 percent of the investigated steel sit traces of substances in concentrations that are harmful to insects. In almost half of the samples (45 percent) went even to more than one pesticide. With twenty samples, but there was four or more variants.

The found doses are not generally harmful to humans. Only in two samples where multiple substances were found, exceeded the total concentration of the threshold.

Bad news for the

But for the bees it is much less good news. “This study shows that they are everywhere in the world are exposed to concentrations neonicotinoid that have a significant effect on their behaviour, physiology and reproduction,” says researcher Alexandre Aebi.

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This study shows that they are everywhere in the world are exposed to concentrations neonicotinoid.

Neonicotinoid, which are widely used in agriculture, are already under fire because, increasingly, they are investigating in connection with the demise of bijenpopulaties. Since 2013, Europe has the use of the substances is restricted to crops not attractive to bees. France goes further and prohibits the substances from 2020 onwards.

Mysterious cocktail

In addition, write the scientists, there is still little known about the effect that the substances have on organisms (bees, people, or other) in combination with other substances, the so-called ‘cocktail-effect’.

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There is still little known about the effect that the substances have on organisms in combination with other substances.

“In Switzerland alone are 350 different types of synthetic pesticides used, which can break down to yet more chemicals,” says lead author Edward Mitchell.

“The combinations are endless, and therefore any study of the effects impossible. We have to make do with studies on the short term to the individual “active” ingredients. In doing so, we do not take into account the added substances in the commercial products, not with the metabolites that are sometimes equally toxic or more harmful than the active substances.’

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