Most honey samples now show pesticide contamination

❝ A new study has found traces of neonicotinoid chemicals in 75% of honey samples from across the world.

The scientists say that the levels of the widely used pesticide are far below the maximum permitted levels in food for humans.

In one-third of the honey, the amount of the chemical found was enough to be detrimental to bees.

❝ Industry sources, though, dismissed the research, saying the study was too small to draw concrete conclusions…In economic terms, that means they couldn’t care less. As long as they’re not killing humans or turning them sterile, all’s right with the world – and their profits.

❝ Neonicotinoids are considered to be the world’s most widely used class of insecticides…These systemic chemicals can be added as a seed coating to many crops, reducing the need for spraying. They have generally been seen as being more beneficial for the environment than the older products that they have replaced.

However, the impact of neonics on pollinators such as bees has long been a troubling subject for scientists around the world. Successive studies have shown a connection between the use of the products and a decline in both the numbers and health of bees.

Earlier this year, the most comprehensive field study to date concluded that the pesticides harm honey bees and wild bees.

You can read the report from this latest study over here.

IRS Hands Equifax $7.25 Million No-Bid Contract to Help “Verify Taxpayer Identities”

❝ With no apparent sense of irony, the nation’s tax collectors have awarded embattled credit-reporting agency Equifax a contract to assist the IRS in verifying “taxpayer identities” as well as assist in “ongoing identity verification and validations,” according to contract award posted to the Federal Business Opportunities database.

The no-bid contract, which pays $7.25 million, is listed as a “sole source” acquisition, meaning the IRS has determined Equifax is the only business capable of providing this service — despite its involvement in potentially one of the most damaging data breaches in recent memory…

❝ Equifax, of course, is facing intense criticism over a cybersecurity incident which reportedly compromised the personal information of roughly 145 million Americans. The company’s former CEO, Richard Smith, was taken to task on Tuesday while testifying before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. Smith resigned last week amid backlash over the company’s handling of the breach.

Republicans and Democrats alike lambasted the former chief executive over Equifax’s response. Representative Greg Walden was perhaps the harshest in his criticism: “I don’t think we can pass a law that fixes stupid…”

Not a case I would say of “The blind leading the blind” — more like “Stupid leading the incompetent”.