No new evidence in EAC report to justify calls for suspension of insecticides
The Crop Protection Association has criticised the Report of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee “Pollinators and Pesticides” on the grounds that it contains no new evidence to justify a call to suspend three widely used neonicotinoid insecticides.

Commenting on the Report, CPA Chief Executive Nick von Westenholz said, "Calls for a suspension of neonicotinoid insecticides are a disproportionate reaction to a complex problem and there is no evidence that such a move will lead to any meaningful improvement in bee health. The reasons that there are declines in some pollinator populations are complicated and not well understood and include factors such as habitat loss, viruses and parasites. Similarly the call to withdraw the approval of neonicotinoids in gardens and amenity areas is unjustified and not supported by any evidence of harm from their proper use in these areas."

Defra has recently reviewed published studies in its report "An assessment of key evidence about neonicotinoids and bees" published in March 2013. The assessment concluded that "it suggests that effects on bees do not occur under normal circumstances" and that "the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoids, as they are currently used, is low." Furthermore, it concluded that "laboratory based studies demonstrating sub-lethal effects on bees from neonicotinoids did not replicate realistic conditions but extreme scenarios."

"Crop protection products, which include insecticides, are vital tools for farmers and removing them can have serious consequences, both for farmers' businesses and for consumer access to the safe and affordable food they produce. The industry takes extremely seriously its responsibility to place on the market products that, if used safely and responsibly, present minimal risk to the environment and human health" he said

Commenting on the call for industry to publish the study reports that are submitted to the regulatory authorities in order for them to decide if a pesticide can be sold, Mr von Westenholz said:

"The crop protection industry supports openness and transparency in the regulatory process but companies' intellectual property must be protected.  It takes up to 10 years and costs hundreds of millions of pounds to research and develop a new product. Without adequate data protection companies will not be willing to invest in innovation."

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