Ecosystem services, agriculture and neonicotinoids

A focus on honey bees has distorted the debate around neonicotinoids. But there is more and more evidence that widespread use of neonicotinoids has severe effects on a range of organisms that provide ecosystem services like pollination and natural pest control, as well as on biodiversity.

As the EASAC report acknowledges, all pesticides involve a balancing act between the desired effect on food production and the inevitable risk of collateral damage to non-target species and the environment. In the case of the neonicotinoids, the increase in scientific knowledge over the last two years suggests that the current balance requires reassessment.