Neonicotinoids Not Only Hurt Bees – They are Human Neurotoxins

Neurotoxic Neonicotinoids

Photo by Treesha Duncan

By Case Adams, Naturopath

A release from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) warns that the common pesticides categorized as neonicotinoids, which include acetamiprid and imidacloprid, will damage the human brain and nervous system.

The report, released on Christmas eve, has suggested that permitted levels of exposure be reduced until more research is done to evaluate their neurotoxicity.

The report follows a new study from the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science. This studied the effects of acetamiprid and imidacloprid on developing nervous systems of rats. The researchers concluded:

“This study is the first to show that of acetamiprid, imidacloprid and nicotine exert similar excitatory effects on mammalian nAChRs at concentrations greater than 1 µM. Therefore, the neonicotinoids may adversely affect human health, especially the developing brain.”

The bottom line is that these neonicotinoids are neurotoxins not only to insects – including bees. They are neurotoxic to humans as well.

The EFSA stated in its release:

“The PPR Panel found that acetamiprid and imidacloprid may adversely affect the development of neurons and brain structures associated with functions such as learning and memory. It concluded that some current guidance levels for acceptable exposure to acetamiprid and imidacloprid may not be protective enough to safeguard against developmental neurotoxicity and should be reduced.”

The EFSA also proposed specific limits to the use of these pesticides:

“For acetamiprid – the current ADI (acceptable daily intake) and AOEL (acceptable operator exposure level) of 0.07 mg/kg bw/per day and the ARfD (acute reference dose) of 0.1 mg/kg bw should be lowered to 0.025 mg/kg bw (per day);
For imidacloprid, the current AOEL and ARfD of 0.08mg/kg/bw/day should be lowered to 0.06 mg/kg bw/per day. The current ADI for imidacloprid is considered to provide adequate protection against potential developmental neurotoxic effects.”

Other research has linked neonicotinoids to bee colony collapse disorder, which has occurred significantly in locations nearby the application of neonicotinoids. Read more about this research.

More recently, the American Bird Conservancy reviewed 200 neonicotinoid studies, many of which had to be retrieved using the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. This concluded that treating seeds with neonicotinoids presented a hazard to numerous critters, including birds and sealife.

Learn about safe cleansing and detoxification.


EFSA assesses potential link between two neonicotinoids and developmental neurotoxicity. European Food Safety Authority. Release, 17 Dec 2013.
Acc. 12/27/2013

Kimura-Kuroda J, Komuta Y, Kuroda Y, Hayashi M, Kawano H. Nicotine-like effects of the neonicotinoid insecticides acetamiprid and imidacloprid on cerebellar neurons from neonatal rats. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e32432. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032432.

Carrington D. US government sued over use of pesticides linked to bee harm. Acc. 12/27/2013

Case Adams is a California Naturopath with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn ones health around. As I drove home that night, I realized I needed to get this knowledge out to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.” Case connects with the elements by surfing, hiking and being a beach bum.

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