27. May 7, 2016 : “Néonicotinoïdes : le paradoxe de la Reine rouge”

This page is a part of the corpus (Annexe 1) used to write Stéphane Foucart and neonicotinoids.

Here, I relate what the journalist said in his article “Néonicotinoïdes : le paradoxe de la Reine rouge”. All quotes, originally in French, were translated by me.

On May 10, the Senate was due to consider the biodiversity bill and, in particular, “the thorny issue of bee-killing insecticides, the now famous neonicotinoids.” Nothing was taken for granted “as the interests thwarted by this provision are agitated behind the scenes to make it its business.”

These interests have “managed to win the ear” of Stéphane Le Foll, then Minister of Agriculture, who asked not to vote for this ban, notably on the ground that there would be no less toxic alternatives and there would be a competition distortion. The journalist questions “What to think of this argument? “, knowing that “none of the various restrictions on the use of these substances produced any loss of performance.”

The dominant agricultural model is said to be “subject to the Red Queen paradox” in reference to Lewis Caroll’s book Alice in Wonderland. In one of her scenes, “The Red Queen explains to Alice that in the world she has landed in, you have to keep accelerating to stay still. Likewise, agriculture would be “in a similar frenetic race to stand still. “

Each new innovation has lower beneficial effects and causes greater damage, which always requires more phytosanitary innovations. This manifests itself in stagnant yields despite an increase in the use of pesticides since 1990. On the contrary, honey production was according to the UNAF then 3 times greater than it would be now.

In addition, it is impossible to contain NNIs. French researchers have notably found a dose of imidacloprid in rapeseed nectar comparable to that of thiamethoxam with which the plant had only been treated. (Henry et al. 2015) Similarly, researchers have shown that wild flowers near fields treated with NNIs were also contaminated by these pesticides. (Botias et al. 2015)

We have lost control of this technology.