Oxford Martin Restatement 2: A restatement of the natural science evidence base concerning neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators

01 May 2014

H. Charles J. Godfray and Angela R. McLean
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Oxford Martin Restatements review the natural science evidence base underlying areas of current policy concern and controversy. Written in policy neutral terms and designed to be read by an informed but not technically specialist audience, restatements are produced by a writing team reflecting the breadth of opinion on the topic in the science community and involve wide consultation with interested stakeholders. The final version of the restatement is peer-reviewed prior to publication.

This paper was published in May 2014 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. It deals with the relationship between neonicotinoid insecticides and insect pollinators.

There is evidence that in Europe and North America many species of pollinators are in decline, both in abundance and distribution. Although there is a long list of potential causes of this decline, there is concern that neonicotinoid insecticides, in particular through their use as seed treatments are, at least in part, responsible. The Restatement provides a succinct summary of the natural science evidence base relevant to understanding how neonicotinoids affect insect pollinators, couched in terms that are as policy-neutral as possible. Each evidence statement is placed into one of four categories describing the nature of the underlying information.