An open letter to policy makers and regulators

Neonicotinoids are the most widely used insecticides in the world, being applied to a broad range of food, energy and ornamental crops, and used in domestic pest control. They are neurotoxins with very high toxicity to insects, a group of organisms that contains the majority of the described life on Earth, and which includes numerous species of vital importance to humans such as pollinators and predators of pests. Neonicotinoids have proved to be highly persistent in the environment, such that significant residues are commonly found in soils, wildflowers, streams and lakes. For example, a recent study in the journal Science found neonicotinoids in 75% of honey samples collected from around the world. Hundreds of independent scientific studies have been performed to assess their impacts on beneficial organisms such as bees, aquatic insects, butterflies and predatory beetles.
It is the view of the undersigned scientists that the balance of evidence strongly suggests that these chemicals are harming beneficial insects and contributing to the current massive loss of global biodiversity. As such, there is an immediate need for national and international agreements to greatly restrict their use, and to prevent registration of similarly harmful agrochemicals in the future.

Failure to respond urgently to this issue risks not only the continued decline in abundance and diversity of many beneficial insects but also the loss of the services they provide and a significant fraction of the biodiversity heritage of future generations.      
Over 300 signatories so far including: Prof Dave Goulson, University of Sussex, UK; Dr Prof Antonieta Daza, CONICET-INIFTA-UNLP, Argentina; Prof Boris Baer, University of California, USA; Professor Chensheng Lu, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Healthy, USA; Dr Ben Sadd, Illinois State University, USA; Prof. Maria Elena Zaccagnini, Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria, Argentina; Prof KS Delaplane, University of Georgia, USA; Dr. Yahya Al Naggar, Tanta University, Egypt; Prof John F. Tooker, The Pennsylvania State University, USA; Prof Randolf Menzel, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany; Prof. Angel Montoya-Baides, Universitat Politècnica de València. Spain; Prof Dr Jeroen P van der Sluijs, University of Bergen, Norway; Dr Alexandre Aebi, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland; Dr Edward AD Mitchell, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland; Prof J Ollerton, University of Northampton, UK; Dr F Sanchez-Bayo, University of Sydney, Australia; Dr J-M Bonmatin, CNRS, France; Prof En-Cheng Yang, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

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