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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.

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WORLDWIDE INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT

First meta-analysis of systemic pesticides - neonics

800 peer reviewed publications

29 independent scientists

Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Summer 2014

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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
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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
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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
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SPECIES

  • Levels resulting from authorized uses frequently exceed ‘lowest observed adverse effect concentrations’ for wide range of non-target species
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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
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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

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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
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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