Neonicotinoid-coated soybean seeds provide little benefit

Photo credit: United Soybean Board Photo credit: United Soybean Board

Mounting scientific literature regarding neonicotinoid pesticides is finding they contaminate our rivers and streams, and likely play an important role in causing colony collapse disorder. One of the primary ways these pesticides enter the environment is through genetically modified soybean seeds that are coated with the pesticide prior to planting. Now, a new peer-reviewed report by the Biological and Economic Analysis Division of the Environmental Protection Agency has concluded these seed treatments do not provide any significant benefit, with data indicating that there was no difference in yield when comparing treated and untreated seeds. Also, as currently used, the pesticides are present in the soybean leaf during a time when most destructive pests are not active. “U.S. soybean growers derive limited to no benefit from neonicotinoid seed treatments in most instances,” the report says, adding, “Usage of neonicotinoid seed treatments does not protect soybean yield any better than doing no pest control.”