Neonics and fipronil have impacts that extend far beyond the intended crop, plant and pest species.
They are causing significant damage and pose a serious risk of harm to a wide range of beneficial invertebrate species in soil, vegetation, aquatic and marine habitats and are affecting ecosystem services as a result.
There is a lack of research into the impact on vertebrate species though the assessment revealed sub-lethal impacts of concern across a range of species including birds.
The risk of harm occurs at field exposure levels (ie. the amounts used in agriculture) and lower.
It is clear that present day levels of pollution with neonics resulting from authorized uses, frequently exceed ‘lowest observed adverse effect concentrations’ for a wide range of non-target species and are thus likely to have large scale and wide ranging negative biological and ecological impacts.
The evidence is also clear that neonics pose a serious risk of harm to honey bees and other pollinators.
In bees, field-realistic concentrations adversely affect individual navigation, learning, food collection, longevity, resistance to disease and fecundity. For bumblebees, irrefutable colony-level effects have been found, with exposed colonies growing more slowly and producing significantly fewer queens. Field studies with free-flying bee colonies have proved difficult to perform, because control colonies invariably become contaminated with neonicotinoids, a clear demonstration of their pervasive presence in the environment.