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The Real Dirt on Pesticides and Bee Deaths

How did America’s farms change from occasional pesticide use to a poison-drenched landscape? How did pest control-based conventional ag become the accepted norm, while organic, regenerative, and sustainable farms have had to fight to exist? According to some reports, as many as 30 million bee colonies have been killed since 1990, accompanied by a 75% insect-biomass crash. Unfortunately, chemical interests didn’t achieve this dominance and destruction by themselves. They have been greatly aided by many public university entomology departments, whose narrow, purely 'pest control’ understanding of agriculture is in fundamental conflict with serious efforts to create poison-free landscapes that are safe for bees. This panel will expose the chemical and pesticide industry’s influences on our food system, unmask major players, and identify a pesticide mentality directing the honeybee story. Agriculture and apiculture viewed through a 'pest control’ lens only creates poisonous crops, unsafe both for bees and humans. A discussion group will immediately follow.

*Approved for 1.5 DPR CE hours for Pest Control Advisors 

Track and Session Info

Track: 
Pests, Beneficials, Ecosystems
Session: 
A | 8:30 am

Date and Location

Day: 
Thursday
Presenter(s): 

Dr. Jonathan Lundgren

Title: 
Dr. Jonathan Lundgren
Presenter Affiliation: 
Founder and Director, Ecdysis Foundation
Bio: 
Dr. Jonathan Lundgren is an agroecologist, Director Ecdysis Foundation, and CEO for Blue Dasher Farm. He received his PhD in Entomology from the University of Illinois in 2004, and was a top scientist with USDA-ARS for 11 years. Lundgren received the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering by the White House. Lundgren has served as an advisor for national grant panels and regulatory agencies on pesticide and GM crop risk assessments. Lundgren has written 126 peer-reviewed journal articles, several book chapters, authored the book “Relationships of Natural Enemies and Non-prey Foods”, and has received more than $6 million in grants. He has trained 5 post-docs and 14 graduate students from around the world. One of his priorities is to make science applicable to end-users, and he regularly interacts with the public and farmers regarding pest and farm management and insect biology. His ecological research focuses heavily on conserving healthy biological communities within agroecosystems by reducing disturbance and increasing biodiversity within cropland.

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