The EU has just banned the use of neonicotinoids. A feature summary in Nature of research and policy developments relating to the impacts of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees and other pollinators gives a good overview. The European Environment Agency issued the second report on the precautionary principle and impacts from various substances - Late Lessons from Early Warnings: Science, Precaution, Innovation. This follows the earlier review of the history of the precautionary principle Late Lessons from Early Warnings: the Precautionary Principle 1896-2000, produced in 2001.
The UK House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee in April 2013 published the report of its inquiry on Pollinators and Pesticides, with a particular focus on neonicotinoids, which have been causing concern because of reported impacts on both honeybees and wild pollinators. Selected recommendations to the UK government are:
- national monitoring of wild insect pollinator species
- risk assesssment results should be placed in the public domain and should be extended to sentinel pollinator species
- review of the precautionary principle in approval of pesticides for use
- a UK action plan for sustainable use of pesticides
- a moratorium on use of imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam on bee-attractive corps by 1 January 2014, and immediate withdrawal of amateur garden use.
- developing valuation of ecosystem services urgently to address pollinators