Tuesday, 4 May 2021

The Answer May Not Lie in the Soils (Much Longer)

The health of soils is a consequence of the actions of the myriad of invertebrates (beetles, earthworms, springtails etc) that live there. Soils take thousands of years to develop. In a sense, the activities of these tiny creatures, keep the precious soils fertile, allowing plants to grow. Workers at the US Center for Biological Diversity have demonstrated that many farm chemicals (herbicides and insecticides) have very negative effects on soil organisms (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/04/vital-soil-organisms-being-harmed-by-pesticides-study-shows). Weirdly, according to the Center, new chemicals are only assessed for their negative effects on Honey bees. Honey bees are important pollinators (and producers of honey) but they rarely come into contact with soil. It seems extraordinary, that soil organisms are rarely considered, when assessing the potential environmental impacts of pesticides. This appears to be yet another example of human myopia!

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