The debate over neonicotinoid insecticides has reached a crucial point, with MPs grilling chemical firms, out-of-date rules failing to protect nature and a row over scientific research...
The most recent assessment from the UK government concluded in September that the new studies do not give "unequivocal evidence that sub-lethal effects with serious implications for colonies are likely to arise from current uses of neonicotinoids".
But now the environment secretary, Owen Paterson, has asked his experts to "speed up" the field studies being conducted. "The health of our bees is a real concern," he said. "Once we have the full picture in the new year I will ask independent experts to give us an up-to-date view on the safety of neonicotinoids."
Cresswell said the problem is far greater than a single study: "There is a dearth of fundamental knowledge. Strong lab knowledge can inform, but we don't even have that. There is a virtual total lack of data on [neonicitinoid] residues in pollen and nectar."