CPA response to Task Force on Systemic Pesticides
Nick von Westenholz, CEO of the Crop Protection Association said: “The Task Force report is not new research; rather, it is a selective review of existing studies which highlighted worst-case scenarios, largely produced under laboratory conditions.

"As such, the publication does not represent a robust assessment of the safety of systemic pesticides under realistic conditions of use - particularly when considered against more recent studies which have been published showing, for example, that the decline in bee populations has been overstated and that bee losses have been higher where insecticide use is lower.

"For a meta-analysis the study seems rather selective; important sets of data, including official monitoring, have been omitted. For example, the study does not take account of the recent Royal Society review or the Australian Government study which found that the introduction of neonicotinoids had, in fact, led to "an overall reduction in the risks to the agricultural environment from the application of insecticides."  

"Importantly, they have failed or neglected to look at the broad benefits provided by this technology - including targeted pesticide application, and the fact that by maximising yields from land already under cultivation, more wild spaces are preserved for biodiversity.

"The crop protection industry takes its responsibility towards pollinators seriously. We recognise the vital role pollinators play in global food production and the need to protect pollinator health. As such the industry is committed to supporting research into pollinator health and to promoting practices that support the health of pollinators. Hence our industry is willing to engage in a dialogue with IUCN and its task force aimed at improving the understanding of bee health and the role of pesticides."

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