WORLDWIDE INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT First meta-analysis of systemic pesticides - neonics 800 peer reviewed publications 29 independent scientists Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Summer 2014
MAIN FINDINGS Clear evidence of harm sufficient to trigger regulatory action Neonics persist for months/years Toxicity increased by the duration of exposure Effects of exposure range from instant and lethal to chronic
Chronic can include: impaired sense of smell or memory reduced fecundity altered feeding behaviour & reduced food intake altered tunneling behaviour difficulty in flight increased susceptibility to disease
ECOSYSTEM Impacts cascade through the ecosystem weakening its stability Persistence and solubility has led to large scale contamination of: soils and sediments ground and surface water treated and non-treated vegetation This provides multiple routes for chronic and acute exposure of non-target species
SPECIES Levels resulting from authorized uses frequently exceed ‘lowest observed adverse effect concentrations’ for wide range of non-target species
Figure with special thanks to Morrisey, Noome and Whitehorn.
BEES Neonics pose a serious risk of harm to honey bees and other pollinators Field realistic concentrations adversely affect: individual navigation learning food collection longevity resistance to disease and fecundity Bumblebee colony-level effects - slower colony growth, significantly fewer queens
GAPS Little data about quantities applied, nor much screening of concentrations in the environment Toxicity to most organisms not investigated. Tests only carried out on 4 out of 25,000 bee species Toxicity to vertebrates (eg. birds that may eat treated seeds) only conducted in handful of species Sub-lethal effects not studied in most organisms.
CONCLUSIONS Present scale of use not sustainable Continued use can only accelerate global decline of important invertebrates and risk reduction in levels of diversity security and stability of ecosystem services Large scale, prophylactic use must be reconsidered
CONCLUSIONS Regulatory agencies should apply more precautionary principles and further tighten regulations and start planning for a global phase-out or, at least, start formulating plans for a strong reduction of the global scale of use