Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

An inside view on pesticide policy

European governments are poised to ban neonicotinoid pesticides. Insights from six years as a senior government advisor have led me to conclude that agricultural reform is urgently needed, beyond cycles of pesticide licensing and withdrawal.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1

Tim Graham/Alamy Stock Photo


  1. Lechnet, M. et al. Nat. Plants 3, 17008 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Pimentel, D. & Pimentel, M. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 78, 660S–663S (2003).

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Houk, O. Science 302, 1926–1929 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Godfray, H. C. J. et al. Proc. R. Soc. B 281, 20140558 (2014).

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Milner, A. M. & Boyd, I. L. Science 357, 1232–1234 (2017).

    CAS  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Sutherland, W. J. & Wordley, C. F. R. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 1, 1215–1216 (2017).

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


I.L.B. is chief scientific advisor at DEFRA. The views in this paper are the author’s own.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ian L. Boyd.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Boyd, I.L. An inside view on pesticide policy. Nat Ecol Evol 2, 920–921 (2018).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing