HC 668 Insects and Insecticides

Further written evidence submitted by Dr James Cresswell, University of Exeter

Response to submission from Graham White, Friends of the Bees [published in written evidence Volume II]

Mr White states: "Cresswell said the problem is far greater than [the lack of] a single study:

There is a dearth of fundamental knowledge. Strong lab knowledge can inform, but we don't even have that. There is a virtual total lack of data on neonicotinoid residues in pollen and nectar."

Any neutral surveyor of peer-reviewed papers on this topic, from 1998 to the present day, would conclude that there are in fact dozens of studies and vast amounts of data ... [including] 16 peer-reviewed studies [listed in the EFSA report] .

I respond as follows.

In my answer to Q121, I clearly did not intend to be understood as saying that there was no quantitative evidence about neonicotinoid residues in pollen and nectar. Indeed, my meta-analysis (Cresswell, J.E. 2011. Ecotoxicology, 20: 149-57) reviews the evidence and defines a ‘field realistic’ range as up to 10 ppb.

The transcript of previous questions, Q119 and Q120, shows that I was addressing whether it was possible to ‘to recreate a field-scale trial in a laboratory’ and the discussion in Q121 continues in relation to whether residues levels used in laboratory trials ‘ ... are representative of the broad range of what goes on in the UK, for example ... ’ Specifically, I intended to be understood as complaining that there was not enough data to specify the residue range in the UK.

I.e., as Mr White notes, the literature clearly provides some land mark point measurements but I was correct in stating that I was unable to find data describing spatial and temporal variation in residue concentrations in UK crops, such as oilseed rape.

31 January 2013

Prepared 12th February 2013