2009: European scientists from several disciplines convene amid growing scientific concern about the rapid decline in insect and arthropod populations across Europe.
Systemic pesticides are taken up by a plant and transported to its leaves, flowers, roots and stems, pollen and nectar.
They remain active and toxic in the soil or plant for many months – sometimes years - and accumulate.
Neonics are nerve poisons and damage can include impaired memory, altered feeding behaviour, difficulty in flight and fatality.
Non-target species are contaminated through direct exposure – insects consuming nectar from treated plants - and indirect, through polluted water and dust.
A wide range of beneficial species in soil, vegetation, aquatic and marine habitats are being negatively affected.
The evidence is also that neonics pose a serious risk of harm to honey bees and other pollinators.
The WIA concluded that the scale of use of neonics is not sustainable.
The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides is the response of the scientific community to concern around the impact of systemic pesticides on biodiversity and ecosystems. Its intention is to provide the definitive view of science to inform more rapid and improved decision-making.