In Zutphen Netherlands with toxicologist Henk Tennekes

Filmmakers Blog. May 24. 2013 Zutphen Netherlands

After a distinguished international career, Dr. H. A. (Henk) Tennekes now lives in a tiny apartment above a shop in Zutphen, the same town where he was born. Here, in the ‘attic of a forgotten provincial town’ he made hugely important discovery…

“ The way a new generation of insecticides, the so-called neonicotinoids, work has much in common with chemical carcinogens – cancer-causing agents, the implication being that safe exposure levels cannot be defined for a category of pesticides used all over the world. My paper convincingly demonstrated that the risk of chronic exposure of arthropods (including bees) to neonicotinoids, which are mainly produced by Bayer CropScience, had been severely underestimated.”

I knew I wanted to interview Henk for SongbirdSOS when we spoke on the phone. We were talking about how the neonicotinoids pesticides were killing bees and other insects, and Henk said, “they are causing a break in the food chain and anything above that break is in danger of extinction.” I shivered, as I certainly understood that we humans are on that same chain.

More on Henk’s work here.