Monday, March 21, 2011

imidacloprid from Bayer, a pesticide used in Thailand by plant exporters

Under a EU rule for plant protection, the phytosanitary agents control each month that in Thai nurseries as of April 2011 no ornamental plants could be exported without having been treated by the pesticide imidacloprid from Bayer; this pesticide was created to fight white flies, such as tabacci in the genus Bemisia, that have an important role in the transmission of plant diseases causing economic losses estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

imidacloprid, is an over the counter and commercial pesticide extremely toxic to the environment so France, Italy, Germany and Slovenia have banned uses of it within their borders following mass lethal effects on bee populations. Moreover this control of white flies is complex as they rapidly gain resistance to chemical pesticides. The USDA recommends "an integrated program that focuses on prevention and relies on cultural and biological control methods when possible."

Question :
imidacloprid ranks among Bayer´s best-selling insecticides ( in 2009 sales of imidacloprid were over € 600 million.) How to relate economic losses from plant diseases driven by white flies and sales of imidacloprid, that are also losses in the final buyers' accounts ? Needless to say, if 1 $ of crop loss is balanced by 1 $ of imidacloprid cost to the grower the global gain, from a pure accounting perspective, is 0. And the figure for the environment and human health is by far negative

imidacloprid is know to induce the reproduction of acarians.

Taking in account environmental effects of this pesticide, white flies resistance and the fact that lethal diseases can incur from undetected long term chemical exposure, by far better options than the use of this product would consist in the governmental supports of biological control methods, financial support to farms that lost crops or compulsory insurance.

In Thailand a financial assistance to farms that suffered loss from floods already exists. Fortunately this assistance doesn't poison our planet. Loss incurred by floods are certainly much higher than those incurred by
white flies borne pathogens.

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resources on imidacloprid :

Hoya and other plant collections are for sale on Plant care is available in various posts of this blog. Contact :

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