Here, I relate what the journalist said in his article “Les néonicotinoïdes sont là pour durer”. All quotes, originally in French, were translated by me.
Researchers led by Ségolène Humann-Guilleminot and Fabrice Helfenstein analyzed more than 700 plant and soil samples on 169 plots of 62 Swiss farms. (Humann-Guilleminot et al. 2019) Were contaminated with NNI:
- All conventional plots
- 93% of ORGANIC plots (which have been organic for more than 10 years)
- 80% of “areas of ecological interest”
This overall presence is believed to be due to “the widespread use of neonicotinoids, the presence of these products in the dust clouds generated during sowing, their solubility in water and their stability in soils”. They would therefore represent an “environmental risk for adjacent untreated lands, over distances hitherto unknown, with consequences for non-target species.”
[S. Foucart takes up a graph showing the increase in the acute toxic load of insecticides in American agriculture, almost exclusively linked to NNI, taken from a 2019 Plos One study, and that on the reduction in the mass of insects by 75% observed in Germany by the 2017 PLOS ONE study by Hallman et al. 2017]
The only exposure to one of the investigated NNI, clothiandin, represented a lethal risk for 5.3 to 8.6% of the 84 species studied and a sublethal risk for 31.6 to 41.2% of these organisms. The concentrations was lower in untreated fields, but presented a sublethal risk for only 1.3 to 6.8% of the species considered. This, without even taking into account the potential cocktail effects.
[S. Foucart ends with a présentation of his book « Et le monde devint silencieux »]