Should Neonicotinoids Be Used On Washington Tidal Flats?

Recently, in the Pacific Northwest, oyster farmers were granted a permit to use the water soluble toxic chemical imidacloprid in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.

Crassostrea_gigas by Jan Johan ter POORTEN

Crassostrea gigas by Jan Johan ter POORTEN

This five year permit covers all burrowing shrimp management activities that result in a discharge of aquatic pesticides containing active ingredient imidacloprid to treat commercial oyster and clam beds (excluding geoduck culture).

Imidacloprid is a systemic pesticide belonging to the neonicotinoid family. It is currently the most widely used insecticide in the world and is primarily produced by Bayer. This neonicotinoid is used in agriculture, arboriculture, gardening, as a flea medication for pets, and in the home environment.

Tom Theobald: Listeners should understand that one of the things that distinguishes imidacloprid is that some of the breakdown products are even MORE toxic than the parent compound.

The Pacific Oyster Industry

Commercial shellfish is an important occupation in some parts of Washington state. My understanding is nearly a quarter of all commercial oysters come out of these two bays. -Rich Doenges,Water Quality Manager from the Southwest Regional Office, Department of Ecology, State of Washington .

Should Oyster Farmers Use Neonicotinoids?

Impact of Imidacloprid

June Stoyer: Where there any concerns about the use of this particular chemical because it is so pervasive? The reason that I ask is because imidacloprid was found in the drinking water on Long Island. Has there been any concern that this is going into open water?

Rich Doenges: The concern about impacts to non-target species, the concern about persistence is something we did consider before we issued the permit. One of the monitoring requirements we have is that there needs to be and will be done some pretty intensive sediment monitoring of the benthic invertebrates. What we are looking for is to ensure that there is a recovery of the benthic invertebrates at least within two weeks after an application of imidacloprid.

Tom Theobald: Can you tell the listeners how a half pound per acre would compare with how it might be applied to farm ground, for example?

Rich Doenges: That’s a good question. I do not know the answer to that.

I don’t know if it is related, I know obviously a lot of your listeners are familiar with the association of neonicotinoids and bee colony collapse and at least what we understand from the work that USEPA did in 2013 during the registration that the concentration of a half a pound per acre would be below concentrations that would impact honeybees. I’m not an expert on that but that’s my understanding of what EPA has determined.

Rich Andrews: There are a number of things that really just jump out at me about the use of pesticides in open waters which are considered waters of the state and waters of the United States.

In fact, how can one legally even issue a permit to pollute these waters under the Clean Water Act of the United States, let alone the companion act within the state of Washington. It just does not compute to me to be sensible or legal.


Will consumers continue to buy oysters that have been exposed to the neonicotinoid, imidacloprid which has contributed to the global decline of bees?

June Stoyer: You used to work for the EPA, correct?

Rich Andrews: Yes, I did. I worked in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Enforcement Activity which is the very kind of permit that this is. I authorized a lot of permits myself.

Another thing in reading and studying up on what’s going on in Washington on this, the other Rich (Doenges) mentions the permit for Carbaryl which in my reading of the information off of the State of Department Ecology’s website, that permit is still legitimate so in fact, oyster producers can use both Carbaryl and imidacloprid and still not be violating anything. So there really is something that’s been silent and hasn’t been discussed. The one was not rescinded when the new one was issued.

There is actually no monitoring of the harvested species themselves, the clams and the oysters. They’re only looking at the other things, in sediment concentrations and water concentrations but they’re not saying about what they’re actually harvesting and feeding to people that are buying these oysters.

Eco-Smart Shellfish?

It is interesting that this description for local oysters appears on in an article titled, For the love of Willapa Bay Oysters – Eco-smart Shellfish. 

If they are filtering the nasty toxins from highly polluted water and mud, chances are there will be concentrations of those toxins in their flesh.


The question remains, will consumers still purchase these oysters regardless of the unknown human health impact?

Benthic Invertebrates: Indicators of Water Quality

Benthic invertebrates are organisms that live on the bottom of a water body (or in the sediment) and have no backbone. Benthic invertebrates are extremely important indicators of environmental change.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, benthic invertebrate communities are generally separated into two major size classes. The meiofauna are organisms (metazoans plus foraminiferans) that typically range from 63 to 500 mm in size, and the macrofauna are all of the larger organisms greater than 500 mm in size. Both groups include species that are considered to be either epifauna because they reside primarily on the surface of the sediments and other substrata, or infauna because they burrow or live beneath the surface of the sediment-water interface.

Benthic community

Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Because all of the major structural and functional attributes of benthic communities are affected by sediment quality in generally predictable ways, benthic community structure assessment is a valuable tool for evaluating sediment quality and its effects on a major biological component of marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystems. (Source: Sediment classification methods compendium)

Benthic invertebrates are to water quality what bees are to the health of the environment. Considering the vast number of studies on the impact of imidacloprid on pollinators (eg: Menzel, TennekesMineauPalmer)  it is preposterous that this chemical was selected.

Should Oyster Farmers Use Neonicotinoids?

In this special series called “The Neonicotinoid View”, which is the only radio show focusing on the impact of neonicotinoids, host June Stoyer and special guest co-host, Colorado beekeeper, Tom Theobald talk to Rich Doenges, Water Quality Manager from the Southwest Regional Office, Department of Ecology, State of Washington about this decision. Please click the play button below to hear the entire interview.

What Is Candida?

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, candida is the scientific name for yeast. It is a fungus that lives almost everywhere, including in your body. Usually, your immune system keeps yeast under control. If you are sick or taking antibiotics, it can multiply and cause an infection

Microscopic image (200-fold magnification) of Candida albicans ATCC 10231, grown on cornmeal agar medium with 1% Tween80.

“Candida albicans” by Y tambe – Y tambe’s file. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Interview Description:

In this segment of The Organic View Radio Show, host, June Stoyer talks to author Ricki Heller, PhD, RHN, about her new book, Living Candida Free: Conquer the Hidden Epidemic that’s Making You Sick—100 Recipes and a 3-Stage Program to Restore Your Health and Vitality. To hear the interview, please click the play button on the video below.

The Power of Austrian Pumpkin Seeds & Oil

The healing power of pumpkins and their seeds has been used for decades. The pumpkin flesh was used for treatment of skin irritations, ulcers and tumors.

The Austrian pumpkin seeds are also of tremendous value for their preventative power in relation to prostate conditions and prostate health. There have been a number of studies which prove that prostate enlargement may be slowed, stopped and even reversed.

Pumpkin seeds from Austria's Steiermark are an excellent snack that are also nutritious!

Pumpkin seeds from Austria’s Steiermark are an excellent snack that are also nutritious!

For over 200 years connoisseurs in the Austrian State of the Steiermark have enjoyed the wonderful flavor and demonstrated nutritional benefits of Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil and Styrian Pumpkin Seeds. In Austria, southwestern Styria enjoys a favorable climate with Mediterranean influences and the temperatures are on average higher than those in the surrounding regions. The area is particularly well-known for its rolling hills, many of which are used as vineyards.

Pumpkin seed oil is a popular Styrian specialty. It is a specialty oil that is made from the slightly warmed seeds of pumpkins. The Styrian pumpkin seeds do not need to be fully roasted to extract the essential oils that produce this gourmet delight. By using a gentle warming process, the Styrian pumpkin seed oil retains the majority of its nutritional value. Due to the high demand, if you choose to buy the seeds or the oil, make sure it is authentic and grown in Austria! The reason the oil and seeds have such high quality is because of the pristine environment, purity of the water, air quality , excellent soil health and overall care the Austrian farmers give to their land!

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles Recipe

Good for: all stages

If you like raw cookie dough, you’ll love these truffles. The texture and flavor of cookie dough, combined with a high-protein “secret ingredient,” means this sweet snack provides a hefty nutritional punch, too! The recipe offers two variations: plain cookie dough balls or, for a richer treat, truffles dipped in chocolate. Either way, you will love them!


Raw Cookie Dough Truffles Recipe

Raw Cookie Dough Truffles Recipe


  • 1 cup (240 ml) well-cooked and drained chickpeas or white beans
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) coconut sugar (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) smooth natural seed or nut butter (I use almond butter)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract, or 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla powder
  • 1?8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) pure stevia powder, or ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) vanilla or chocolate-flavored pure liquid stevia, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) coconut flour
  • 2 ½ tablespoons (37.5 ml) unflavored or vanilla raw protein powder (pea or rice)
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) plain or vanilla unsweetened almond milk or other allowed nondairy milk or more, as needed
  • 1?3 cup (80 ml) homemade carob or chocolate chips (page 205) or cacao nibs

Chocolate Coating (optional; makes enough for about 15 truffles)

  • ¼ cup (30 g) raw cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) coconut oil
  • 1?8 to ¼ teaspoon (0.5 to 1 ml) pure stevia powder, or ¼ to ½ teaspoon (1 to 2.5 ml) pure liquid stevia
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla powder, or 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract

Make the truffles: In the bowl of a food processor, process the chickpeas, coconut sugar, seed butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla, and stevia until very smooth. Add the coconut fl our, protein powder, salt, and milk and process until the mixture comes together in a very soft dough. Stir in the chips by hand; don’t process again.

As a snack, you can eat the dough right away.

For truffles, scoop about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the dough at a time and place on a cookie sheet. Freeze until just firm, then roll into balls. For uncoated truffles, store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze. If coating in chocolate, return the truffles to the freezer while you prepare the chocolate coating.

Make the coating: Place a medium-size metal or heatproof glass bowl over a small pot containing about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of simmering water (be sure that the bowl is big enough to cover the pot, and that it isn’t actually touching the water). Place the coating ingredients in the bowl and stir frequently until everything is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the pot and turn off the heat.

To coat the truffles: Place a ball on a fork and dip into the chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Tap the fork against the top of the bowl so that excess chocolate drips through the tines and back into the bowl. Slide the ball off the fork and back onto the cookie sheet, and repeat to coat the remaining balls. Return the cookie sheet to the freezer to chill just until firmed up. You may repeat the dipping process for a thicker chocolate coating. Store in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. May be frozen.

Note: For Stage 1, omit the coconut sugar and use more stevia, to taste.

Click the image to buy your copy of Living Candida Free: Conquer the Hidden Epidemic that’s Making You Sick—100 Recipes and a 3-Stage Program to Restore Your Health and Vitality.

Almond-Crusted Root Vegetable “Fries” Recipe

Good for: all stages

This recipe couldn’t be simpler—and because it works with most root veggies, it’s versatile, too. The only caveat is to be sure to bake the fries long enough, so that the coating becomes somewhat crispy; this isn’t the time for mushy, just-done fries. When properly baked, the almond coating crisps up nicely, the fries themselves begin to caramelize and sweeten, and the whole package is entirely irresistible. These are great with Homemade Ketchup (page 110).

If you LOVE the recipe for Almond-Crusted Root Vegetable “Fries”, you are going to love the book! Click the image to buy your copy today!

Almond-Crusted Root Vegetable “Fries” Recipe


  • Coconut oil, for pan (optional)
  • 1 medium-size rutabaga, 3 medium-size parsnips, or 2
  • medium-size sweet potatoes, or other root vegetables of
  • your choice, peeled and cut into thin, frylike strips (or use a
  • combination of those listed)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) smooth natural almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, preferably organic
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) fi ne sea salt
  • About 1 teaspoon (5 ml) total spice(s) of your choice (garlic
  • salt, curry powder, cumin, garam masala, Chinese 5-spice
  • powder, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment, or grease with coconut oil.

Place the “fries” in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the almond butter, oil, salt, and spices. Drizzle the coating over the fries, and toss the mixture with a large spoon (or even better, your hands) until they are all evenly coated.

Line up the fries on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 50 to 70 minutes (depending on thickness of your fries), until the coating is browned and a bit crispy, and the fries are fully cooked. Will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Homemade Ketchup

Good for: all stages

Most store-bought ketchup is loaded with sugar and a variety of artificial ingredients and preservatives. While you should stay away from the processed versions, you don’t have to give up ketchup completely! This homemade version is slightly lighter in color but every bit as flavorful as the ones you’re used to.


  • 12 large beefsteak tomatoes, washed well and cored (no need
  • to peel), or 1 (28-ounce [796 ml]) can stewed tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) raw apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) garlic powder or granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) ground allspice, or 1?8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sweet paprika
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon (1 to 2.5 ml) fi ne sea salt
  • 1?8 teaspoon (0.5 ml) pure stevia powder

Puree the tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Place in a large pot with the other ingredients.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and continue to cook, stirring more frequently toward the end, until very thick and water no longer pools when you stir and scrape across the bottom of the pot (this could take up to 2 hours). Allow to cool; if desired, blend again for a smoother texture. Store a little in the fridge in a glass jar, but pour the remaining ketchup into ice cube trays and freeze, pop out and store in resealable plastic bags in the freezer; use one or two at a time as needed.


Maryland’s Pollinator Protection Act of 2015

The Pollinator Protection Act (Senate Bill 163/House Bill 605) would require that any plants, seeds or nursery stock treated with neonicotinoid pesticides include a warning label. It would also ensure that consumers could no longer purchase neonicotinoid pesticides; they would be available for sale only to certified applicators, farmers or veterinarians.

Pollinator Protection Act of 2015

Why Restrict Neonicotinoids?

There has been a tremendous amount of independently conducted, peer-reviewed, published scientific research by some of the world’s top scientists that have proven the impact of neonicotinoids. (For those of you that would like to learn more, please visit our show archives by clicking here.)

The sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids prove that it truly is a “Disaster in the Making” as initially proven by Dutch Toxicologist, Dr. Henk Tennekes. His research concludes that it neonicotinoids are mobile in groundwater, the damage to the nervous system is cumulative and irreparable and due to the dose-time ratio, death is imminent. While industry consistently refers to Dr. Alex Lu’s last “Harvard Study” on bees, they completely overlook the fact that the bees still died.

There is also a current ban in the EU and efforts in other parts of the world to follow the EU’s lead. In the state of Maryland, according to Smart on Pesticides Maryland:

  • Beekeepers have reported average hive losses of 30 percent or higher each year since 2006; in 2012, Maryland beekeepers lost nearly 50 percent of their hives. These numbers are not sustainable.
  • Neonicotinoids threaten aquatic life. They have been linked to death of molting blue crabs and declines in macro-invertebrates.
  • More than half of “bee-friendly” plants purchased at Home Depot, Walmart and Lowes stores in 18 cities across the U.S. and Canada, including in Maryland, had levels of neonicotinoids at sufficient levels to kill bees outright, according to 2014 Friends of the Earth study.

Are There Safe Alternatives To Neonicotinoids?

Yes, there are a myriad of alternatives! The pesticide industry strongly encourages people to read labels before applying any pesticide, so if you see that a product you are considering contains a neonicotinoid pesticide, consider these alternatives. You can also use an app that is available by clicking this link for the PRI Product Evaluator (available for mobile through iTunes store)

Sample of Neonicotinoid-Free Consumer Pesticide Products

To view the entire list of Neonicotinoid Free Consumer Pesticide Products, please click this link.

Listen To The Interview

In this special series called “The Neonicotinoid View”, host June Stoyer and special guest co-host, Colorado beekeeper, Tom Theobald, talk to bee health advocates Bonnie Raindrop and Bill Castro about efforts in Maryland to restrict use of neonicotinoids by passing Senate Bill 163/House Bill 6055, The 2015 Pollinator Protection Act.

To listen to the interview, please press play on the video below.

Bonnie Raindrop is the Legislative Chair for the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association (CMBA). CMBA is a member organization of the Smart on Pesticides Maryland coalition which has over 60 organizations who are working together to pass the Pollinator Protection Act in Maryland in the 2015 legislative session. She has been a beekeeper for 9 years.

Bonnie Raindrop

Bonnie Raindrop

Bill Castro is a full-time urban treatment-free beekeeper in Baltimore City who has been involved with bees in one way or another for nearly 40 years, and a military spouse. He owns and operates Bee Friendly Apiary. His love of nature and deep respect for honey bees has also been shared through volunteering in Baltimore City classroom education for school age children as well as speaking publicly to civic groups and garden clubs. He promotes honeybee stewardship and a chemical free environment.

Bill Castro

Bill Castro