Heavy Costs: Weighing the Value of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Agriculture
March 24th, 2014

Heavy Costs is a scientific literature review which reveals that neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatments offer little benefit, do not increase crop yields, and cause widespread environmental and economic damage. In particular, neonicotinoids have been implicated in bee population declines and colony collapse. While some fear that crop yields will suffer without the use of neonicotinoids, the study demonstrates that the benefits do not outweigh the costs.

The authors examined 19 peer-reviewed studies of the relationship between neonicotinoid treatments and actual yields of major U.S. crops. Eight studies found that neonicotinoid treatments did not provide any significant yield benefit, while 11 studies showed inconsistent benefits. The studies corroborate evidence from European countries that were able to maintain crop yields even after neonicotinoid bans. The review cites the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failure to conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis and calls on EPA to suspend seed treatment product registrations.

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