The UK-Based Bee Coalition is calling for a global ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, citing the results of a Worldwide Integrated Assessment that reviewed 800 studies covering birds, animals, soil and water, as well as bees. The study showed that neonicotinoids pose a major threat to a wide range of invertebrate species in soil, vegetation, aquatic and marine habitats.
The Worldwide Integrated Assessment was produced by an independent Task Force on Systemic Pesticides and is the most comprehensive review of evidence on neonicotinoids to date. The Bee Coalition will be urging the Westminster government to take account of its conclusions in the upcoming National Pollinator Strategy for England, expected in autumn 2014. Currently a two year moratorium on the use of these types of pesticides is in force across the European Union.
Meanwhile in the USA, the cities of Spokane in Washington State and Eugene in Oregon have banned their use, and the push is on in other regions to follow suit.
“The inappropriate use of pesticides has the potential to cause massive damage to the natural environment and through this to jobs, employment and income,” Steve Trent of Environmental Justice Foundation said.
“Clearly the impact of neonicotinoids on bees and other pollinators has just this potential. We need to see a wholesale shift in how we conduct our agriculture to get rid of harmful chemical inputs and to build and reinforce sustainability. Failure to do this is likely to see the further decline of invaluable species like bees.”