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What’s next in the long, heated battle over bees and neonicotinoid insecticides?

| | November 15, 2017

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[S]tudies showing real-world evidence of harm from pesticides in the field have been mounting — and environmental organizations have demanded wide-ranging bans. … This month, the EU’s European Food Safety Authority is due to complete a re-evaluation of evidence for restricting neonics; the EU will then need to decide what action to take. The US Environmental Protection Agency is expected to complete its own review of the insecticides next year.

But industry groups and some scientists say the evidence still isn’t conclusive. The picture is complicated: some studies show harm to some bees in some circumstances, whereas others find no harm. The results seem to be affected by many factors, including the species of bee and the kinds of crops involved. Scientists working on the question say the subject has become toxic: any new study is instantly and furiously picked at by entrenched advocates on both sides. … Ultimately, it’s likely that political or regulatory decisions will settle the matter before opposing parties agree, says Sainath Suryanarayanan, an entomologist and sociologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who has studied the bee-health issue. “It is a common pattern for highly contentious and polarized debates,” he says.

Related article:  Video: CRISPR-created seedless tomatoes could eliminate need for bee pollination

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The bitter battle over the world’s most popular insecticides

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