International conservation report calls for greater restrictions on neonicotinoid use

A new report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) supports the view that neonicotinoid insecticides cause harm to bees and other creatures.

Image: Dean Morley
Image: Dean Morley

Claiming to be the most comprehensive assessment of the scientific literature on systemic pesticides to date, the IUCN's report says trace levels of pesticides can build up to cause long-term harm not only to invertebrates but also to grain-feeders such as birds.

It recommends a complete global phase-out of, or at least a significant reduction in, neonicotinoid use.

Pesticide Action Network UK policy officer Nick Mole said: "This important report makes it clear that those that have been concerned about the effects of neonicotinoids on pollinators have been right to be concerned."

But Crop Protection Association chief executive Nick von Westenholz described the report as "a selective review of existing studies which highlighted worst-case scenarios, largely produced under laboratory conditions". 

He added: "As such, the publication does not represent a robust assessment of the safety of systemic pesticides under realistic conditions of use."

The Bee Coalition of environmental NGOs has said it will urge the government to take account of the IUCN's conclusions in the upcoming National Pollinator Strategy for England, expected in autumn 2014.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

What is the future for glyphosate?

What is the future for glyphosate?

The horticulture industry has defended glyphosate after a landmark US court case saw chemical company Monsanto ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a groundskeeper who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.

Should more be done to address farm thefts and other crimes?

Should more be done to address farm thefts and other crimes?

The cost of vehicle thefts from farms is rising, while trust in the police's ability to deal with rural crime is in decline, two new reports show.

Are robots about to rescue the soft-fruit industry?

Are robots about to rescue the soft-fruit industry?

With the soft-fruit industry's labour crisis deepening, the prospect of commercially available field robots appears to offer at least a partial solution, growers at a discussion at Fruit Focus heard.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Horticulture Week Top UK FRUIT PRODUCERS

See our exclusive RANKING of UK Fruit Producers by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon