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Fri Oct 4, 2019, 02:22 AM

Farmers get 'negligible' benefit from insecticide that kills bees, researchers say

OCT. 4, 2019 / 3:00 AM

By Jessie Higgins

EVANSVILLE, Ind., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- New research that found a widely used and increasingly controversial insecticide has "negligible" benefits for commercially grown soybeans, and pesticide makers and farmers are pushing back against that conclusion.

The insecticide, called neonicotinoid, has come under fire in recent years after scientists discovered it might be killing honey bees, monarch butterflies, certain birds and aquatic life.

"We've documented the costs and the downsides of neonicotinoids," said Christian Krupke, an entomology professor at Purdue University, who was one of the 23 researchers who authored a study on the topic.

"So, the question we asked with this study was, what are the benefits? Do these insecticides pay off for growers? Do they prevent pest damage? And, our findings are that the benefits are negligible."


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