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Two new scientific studies published today in the top ranking Science journal throw further light on the profound damage that neonicotinoid insecticides are doing to wildlife and beneficial insects. Buglife is calling on Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove to consider the new evidence of harm and undertake a review of the Government’s opposition to measures to protect bees from pesticides.

What emerges from the two studies is a picture of a global agricultural landscape heavily contaminated with persistent toxins that are destroying populations of wild bees and harming captive honeybee health.

The CEH Study (Woodcock et al. 2017) was brokered by Defra and funded by Bayer and Syngenta, and has been touted by many as the study that will provide conclusive evidence about the role of neonicotinoids in bee decline. It is the first properly replicated winter sown Oilseed rape field study, with 33 sites examined in the UK, Germany and Hungary. However, the study was seriously limited by the single exposure source examined – pollen and nectar from the Oilseed rape. In real life bees are also exposed to high concentrations of neonicotinoids in widely dispersing dust produced during the planting of treated seeds and the ploughing…