A recent survey on world’s honey, found that 75% of the supplies tested contained a harmful pesticide, if not more than one, as reported by abc.net.au.
The survey was completed by Swiss scientists recently, where they tested 198 honey samples from all over the world, except Antarctica. The results showed that 75% of these samples contained one or more of five neonicotinoid pesticides. These are the pesticides used often in agriculture.
The survey found that samples from the US, Asia and Europe contained the highest levels of the pesticides. The levels of the pesticides found were below the “maximum-residue level authorised for human consumption” in accordance with EU law.
Concerns have been voiced over the news, with scientific studies already proving that the pesticides can harm and wipe out pollinator numbers. The average concentration of the pesticide found in honey samples, is enough to effect a bee’s ability to learn, behaviour and the performance of the colony.
Colony collapse has been a big problem in recent years, leading to the debate over the use of pesticides. May countries are in the process of trying to implement a ban on glycophosphates. France recently implemented a law in 2016, which will see the banning of neonicotinoids by 2018. Colony collapse was first discovered in the US, almost ten years ago.
One of the study’s co-authors, Professor Edward Mitchell, said these pesticides are that toxic, that even at this concentration they have a significant knock on effect. The team of researchers took on the assistance of the public for this study, getting them to send in their honey samples from around the world to their lab in Switzerland. Products where the source of the honey couldn’t be identified, were excluded from the study.
"Many of our samples were from very remote regions. We also aimed to [include] isolated oceanic islands and places in central parts of continents far away from big industrial areas," Professor Mitchell said.
"In many of these places we had positive samples.", he added.
Up to 30 per cent of samples were found to contain a single pesticide, with a further 45 per cent containing at least two, and up to five different types of neonicotinoid found altogether.