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Honey bee worker

There is now widespread recognition of the risk to pollinators created by modern agriculture. SGS has set up a special field research team in Brazil to begin trials into the use of pesticides, their long-term infiltration of the environment, and their effect upon pollinators.

Due to the complexity of these trials, SGS has created a special team to coordinate and run this research, in collaboration with the local client’s study director. The results of these trials will then be shared with the local federal environment agency, IBAMA.

The team will begin by measuring the levels of pesticide left in plants following their use in agriculture. Working across a broad range of crops, and in anticipation of the potential variation in pesticide residue levels, the team will run a comprehensive range of tests under the strictest GLP conditions, with cross-contamination being identified as a major concern. 

The planned program of trials will initially focus on the collection, by hand, of pollen, as well as the sampling of plant tissues and soils from within the trial areas. By analyzing the amounts of pesticide still present in these samples, the field research team hopes to look at the long-term effects of pesticide use. Improving understanding of residue exposure will help to assess the impact of pesticides on pollinators. In the long-term, this will support the development of pesticides that can work in harmony with pollinators.

Following the successful conclusion of these trials, SGS will offer clients a wider range of pollinator studies services, all backed-up by SGS’s expertise gained from a global network which includes extensive European experience in this sector.

European Pollinator Studies

In 2015, SGS launched pollen and nectar exposure study services to meet the requirements of guidance issued by the European Commission (EC), EFSA and EPA, to address the risk posed to pollinators, such as bees and other non-target arthropods, by plant protection product (PPP) residues in nectar, pollen and guttation water. Our focus is not only on the acute toxicity to an individual bee, but also on bee population levels, including hives. Bees can be adversely affected by even low levels of pesticide residue. From a toxicological perspective, triggers have been established, for pollen and nectar, which are in the ultra trace range. Exposure due to spray, furrow application of granules to soil and exposure via treated seeds/dust is assessed separately.

The launch of these pollinator studies in Brazil is also part of a wider SGS program to conduct field tests in a range of geographical, cultural and climatic conditions in the EU, US and Brazil.

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For further information, please contact:

Marcos de Ferran 
Seed & Crop General Manager - Brazil 
t: +55 (19) 3052-2274

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 85,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,800 offices and laboratories around the world.