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expert reaction to EFSA statement on neonicotinoids and the developing brain

In a review of recent evidence, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) released a statement that two neonicotinoid insecticides may affect the developing human nervous system.


Prof Alan Boobis, Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology at Imperial College London, said:

“EFSA has reviewed recent data on the neurotoxicity of two neonicotinoid insecticides, acetamiprid and imidacloprid.  Whilst there is uncertainty in the interpretation of the findings EFSA concluded that it would be prudent to reduce most of the reference values for these compounds, pending further research to clarify the uncertainties. 

“The reduction in the reference values in most cases was modest.  Whilst there is clearly a question mark over the possible effects of these compounds on the developing brain, the conclusions of EFSA do not suggest that exposure of humans to these compounds at the levels that occur normally in food or in the environment is a cause for concern.”     

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