Tekmar Talk Blog

EPA Acknowledges Pesticide Risk to Bees

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Thu, Sep 13, 2018 @ 03:02 PM

Bees are in trouble. Managed bee colonies in the United States have decreased from 6 million in 1947 to 2.5 million in 2016. This is more than a simple threat to the honey supply. Bees are crucial to food supply, and in fact, one-third of what we eat comes form insect-pollinated plants. The honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination.

Understanding the impact of pesticides has become a major fight of the Environmental Protection Agency, which recently found that “A major pesticide harms honeybees when used on cotton and citrus, but not on other crops like corn, berries and tobacco.”

The EPA completed the first scientific risk assessment of the neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides debated by scientists, environmentalists and beekeepers. This is the first of four risk reports for this class of chemicals, which include neonicotinoids, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran. This is also the first

 time the EPA has actually acknowledged that a major pesticide is killing bees. Anti-pesticide groups want to ban the pesticides, which works on the central nervous systems of insects. Europe banned neonics, but then lifted the ban.

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Tags: Pesticide Residue

The Dirty Dozen: List of Fruits and Vegetables that Have the Highest Pesticide Residue

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Fri, Aug 17, 2018 @ 03:15 PM

The Environmental Working Group published its annual Dirty Dozen list of the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residue. Topping the list the last five year were apples, but this year, strawberries were the most contaminated.

According to an EWG news release about the 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, “Nearly all strawberry samples - 98 percent - tested by federal officials had detectable pesticide residues. Forty percent had residues of 10 or more pesticides and some had residues of 17 different pesticides. Some of the chemicals detected on strawberries are relatively benign, but others are linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental damage, hormone disruption and neurological problems.

“Strawberries were once a seasonal, limited crop, but heavy use of pesticides has increased yield and stretched the growing season. In California, where most U.S. strawberries are grown, each acre is treated with an astonishing 300 pounds of pesticides. More than 60 pounds are conventional chemicals that may leave post-harvest residues but most are fumigants - volatile poison gases that can drift into nearby schools and neighborhoods.”

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Tags: Pesticide Residue

Fresh Produce Companies Moving to On-site Residue Testing

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 @ 07:49 AM

Pesticides are undergoing an increased level of scrutiny with technical standards tightening and consumer knowledge of food safety on the rise. They are the most widely used chemicals by fruit and vegetable farmers, and cover everything from herbicides that kill weeds and insecticides that kill insects to fungicides that kill fungus. The increased knowledge about pesticides and the demand for organic produce has many companies looking for ways to reduce pesticide residue and deliver to consumers fruits and vegetables that are safer and chemical-free. A company in Malaga, Spain is one of a “growing number of companies,” going the extra step by opening its own residue-testing laboratory. Frutas Montosa lab will use the latest technologies, including QuEChERS, gas and liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, to ensure its food is safe and secure.

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Tags: Pesticide Residue

Strawberries Top the Pesticide List… Again

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 @ 03:07 PM

An analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture data found that “nearly 70% of samples of 48 types of conventionally grown produce were contaminated with pesticide residues.”[i] On the more than 35,000 produce samples tested by the USDA were found 178 different pesticides and residues, which remained on the fruits and vegetables even after washing, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

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Tags: Pesticide Residue

7 truths about Genetically Modified (GMO) Crop Pesticides and the Significant Health and Environmental Risks assocated with them

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Thu, May 12, 2016 @ 03:38 PM

The pesticide known on the commercial market as Roundup is the subject of a new study published in the February 2016 issue of Environmental Health. In the study, 14 scientists raise new concerns over the health and environmental risks of the pesticide glyphosate. The pesticide is widely used on genetically modified (GMO) crops, which “were developed to be resistant to the effects of glyphosate, so the pesticide would kill the weeds, but not the plants.”


GMO crops were first approved in 1996, and since that time the use of glyphosate has grown nearly 15 fold. “Since the late 1970s, the volume of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) applied has increased approximately 100-fold”

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Tags: Pesticide Residue

Yes, You Should Wash Your Fruits and Veggies

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 @ 12:09 PM

Eat your vegetables… something we’ve all heard since we were little kids. Parents across the country can share a different version of the same story where little Jane or Johnny sat for hours at the dinner table refusing to eat their green beans and wishing that they had a dog to eat them. The World Health Organization recommends that we eat roughly five servings of fruits and vegetables every day to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.

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Tags: Pesticide Residue

Are Pesticide Residues to blame for the Decline in Bee Population?

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 @ 07:22 PM

It’s no secret that the honey bee is disappearing at an alarming rate and organizations from the public and private sectors are looking for ways to reverse the trend. In fact U.S. President Barack Obama announced in June the creation of a task force to address the diminishing population of honey bees and other pollinators. The efforts of the honey bee are critical for the food industry as they pollinate fruit, nuts and vegetables. “Globally, 87 of the leading 115 food crops evaluated are dependent on animal population.” In addition, these “Pollinators contribute more than $24 billion to the United States economy, of which honey bees account for more than $15 billion.”[i]

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Tags: QuEChERS, SVOC, Automate-Q-40, Pesticide Residue, Honey

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