Here, I relate what the journalist said in his article “Pesticides: les ravages de l’agriculture américaine”. All quotes, originally in French, were translated by me.
[Editor’s note: As part of the promotion of his book “Et le monde became silent”, co-edited by Seuil and Le Monde and published on August 29, S. Foucart published 3 articles.]
A study published in early August (2019) in PLOS ONE looked at the “toxic load” of American agriculture for insects between 1992 and 2014. It had, over this period been multiplied by 48, almost exclusively because of NNIs, which would represent 92% of the toxic load over this period.
This study deconstructs “the idea that the general decline of insects is mainly due to climate change, natural pathogens, invasive species, etc.”
The toxic load indicator would have been built “on the tonnages of each family of insecticides used, on its acute toxicity to insects (with the honey bee as a reference) but also on its average persistence in the environment”.
[The journalist 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 by the 2017 PLOS ONE study by Hallman et al. 2017]
According to Pierre Mineau, reports from the EPA anticipated “dramatic effects on the ecology of the terrestrial or aquatic systems in which these products would be used”. He concludes :
“Everything that happened was predictable, if not expected.”
[NdA: S. Foucart ends with a presentation of his book “And the world became silent”]