QWhat about all the mass amounts of bees that are dying now. What is the story on this? Monsantos pesticides are being blamed for this. They've apparently increased the strength on some of these pesticides.

What about all the mass amounts of bees that are dying now. What is the story on this? Monsantos pesticides are being blamed for this. They've apparently increased the strength on some of these pesticides.

AExpert Answer

Without modern crop protection practices, nearly 50 percent of the harvest would be lost to insects, diseases, weeds and fungus (Oerke, 2006). The end result would be that more land would be required to feed a growing population. Producers use different strategies to provide an adequate food supply, including the use of pesticides when necessary. Producers are also very conscious of the environment and take steps to reduce the impact of their farming practices. For example, modern seed treatments actually reduce the amount of insecticide in the environment. Spraying a field with an insecticide applied to the leaves will cover 100 percent of a field, but less than 1 percent of a field is treated using seed treatments. The agricultural industry conducts in-depth research into the characteristics of crop protection products from an early stage to ensure they have minimal effects on the environment and beneficial species, like the honey bee. Very stringent regulatory safeguards are in place to ensure that no products or genetically modified crops posing an unacceptable risk to plant or animal life are allowed on the market. For an excellent discussion of pesticides and honey bees, see this summary.

To see a previous response to a similar question regarding bees and GMOs, please go here


Posted on March 9, 2018
Hello, and thank you for your question! Scientists commonly use genetically engineering (GE) to add and subtract genes from ALL sorts of plants, from common weeds to potatoes from the Andes. Most GE is performed only to learn how plants work. While it’s relatively simple to change a plant’s genetics, it’s difficult and expensive to actually improve a plant’s genetics. Thus, only the most “important” crops are targets for GE. Smaller improvements are... Read More
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Posted on March 8, 2018
Hello, and thank you for your question! Scientists commonly use genetically engineering (GE) to add and subtract genes from ALL sorts of plants, from common weeds to potatoes from the Andes. Most GE is performed only to learn how plants work. While it’s relatively simple to change a plant’s genetics, it’s difficult and expensive to actually improve a plant’s genetics. Thus, only the most “important” crops are targets for GE. Smaller improvements are... Read More
Posted on March 9, 2018
Anyone who has traveled through the Southeast and seen kudzu vines along the highway knows that plants can evolve into a negative outcome. There is a similar concern that a GMO can produce negative outcomes in the environment.  Therefore, prior to approving their commercial planting, GMOs must be tested in contained field trials to ensure that they do not behave in ways that could cause problems. To prevent negative outcomes, GMOs must not have the ability to cross with wild... Read More

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