On Thursday there was a study published in the journal Nature by researchers in Canada showing that seed eating songbirds exposed to the neonicotinoid pesticide imidacloprid and the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos lost weight and had impaired orientation. Both of these would increase the chance that they die or don’t manage to breed during the very long, hard trip of migration.
This is another good reason not to buy plants treated with neonicotinoids, and to avoid food treated with chlorpyrifos.
Over half of the apples and broccoli in the US are sprayed with chlorpyrifos, which is known to harm children’s brains and neurologic development. It makes sense to buy organic apples and broccoli.
There are many studies that show chlorpyrifos harms birds and children, and groups such as the National Audubon Society are lobbying to have these chemicals banned.
Groups such as Earthjustice are working to enforce laws in the courts that would ban chlorpyrifos because in 2016 the EPA health hazard assessment and drinking water assessment confirmed that research that these chemicals are harmful enough to support revoking all food residue tolerances.
Unsurprisingly, if these chemicals are harmful to birds, they are harmful to people, too.