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‘Alarming’ Explosion of toxic pesticide use causing insect apocalypse in United States: Study

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“Insect abundance has declined 45 percent. This is a global crisis—we must ban neonics to save the bees!”

The rapid and dangerous decline of the insect population in the United States—often called an “insect apocalypse” by scientists—has largely been driven by an increase in the toxicity of U.S. agriculture caused by the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal PLOS One.

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“We need to rapidly shift our food system away from dependence on harmful pesticides and toward organic farming methods that work with nature rather than against it.”
—Kendra Klein, Friends of the Earth

The study found that American agriculture has become 48 times more toxic to insects over the past 25 years and pinned 92 percent of the toxicity increase on neonicotinoids, which were banned by the European Union last year due to the threat they pose to bees and other pollinators.

Kendra Klein, Ph.D., study co-author and senior staff scientist at Friends of the Earth, said the United States must follow Europe’s lead and ban the toxic pesticides before it is too late.

“It is alarming that U.S. agriculture has become so much more toxic to insect life in the past two decades,” Klein said in a statement. “We need to phase out neonicotinoid pesticides to protect bees and other insects that are critical to biodiversity and the farms that feed us.”

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“Congress must pass the Saving America’s Pollinators Act to ban neonicotinoids,” Klein added. “In addition, we need to rapidly shift our food system away from dependence on harmful pesticides and toward organic farming methods that work with nature rather than against it.”

According to National Geographic, neonics “are used on over 140 different agricultural crops in more than 120 countries. They attack the central nervous system of insects, causing overstimulation of their nerve cells, paralysis, and death.”

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With insect populations declining due to neonic use, “the numbers of insect-eating birds have plummeted in recent decades,” National Geographic reported. “There’s also been a widespread decline in nearly all bird species.”

As Common Dreams reported in February, scientists warned in a global analysis that by decimating insect populations, widespread use of pesticides poses a serious threat to the planet’s ecosystems and ultimately to the survival of humankind.

Klein said the “good news” is that neonics are not at all necessary for food production.

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“We have four decades of research and evidence that agroecological farming methods can grow our food without decimating pollinators,” said Klein.


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Internet pummels Trump for frantic demand to investigate Obama instead: ‘This is not the tweet of an innocent man’

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President Donald Trump jealously raged against Barack Obama's post-presidency business deals, which includes a production agreement with Netflix -- and other social media users ridiculed his apparent envy.

Trump questioned that deal and others in a pair of tweets complaining about an impeachment inquiry launched against him last week by the House Judiciary Committee, and he suggested Congress look at Obama's business since he left the White House.

....work that way. I have a better idea. Look at the Obama Book Deal, or the ridiculous Netflix deal. Then look at all the deals made by the Dems in Congress, the “Congressional Slush Fund,” and lastly the IG Reports. Take a look at them. Those investigations would be over FAST!

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Is the Trump administration squelching a whistleblower — and a major scandal?

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America's system of government has always worked on the honor system. With so few Senate-confirmed Cabinet and federal agency heads, and so many “acting” officials working in the Trump administration, people who are constantly forced to audition for permanent positions are now under tremendous pressure to protect a president hellbent on breaking every norm of good governance. Now a new possible political scandal could be brewing in the Trump administration that tests the loyalty of these “acting” officials — pitting their allegiance to the nation against their desire to impress their boss.

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Jealous Trump rages against Obama’s Netflix deal in early morning Twitter rant

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President Donald Trump betrayed his apparent jealously over Barack Obama's production deal with Netflix in a new Twitter rant.

The former president and first lady Michele Obama made their Hollywood debut last month with the documentary "American Factory" released through joint venture with Netflix and their production company, Higher Ground.

Trump questioned that deal in a pair of tweets complaining about an impeachment inquiry launched against him last week by the House Judiciary Committee.

"House Judiciary has given up on the Mueller Report, sadly for them after two years and $40,000,000 spent - ZERO COLLUSION, ZERO OBSTRUCTION," Trump tweeted. "So they say, OK, lets look at everything else, and all of the deals that “Trump” has done over his lifetime. But it doesn’t work that way."

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