EU restricting use of three pesticides to protect bee populations

24 May 2013 17:49  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The EU will restrict the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides effective 1 December to protect Europe’s honeybee population, the European Commission said on Friday.

The restrictions target the use of clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam in the treatment of plants and cereals that are attractive to bees and pollinators, the European Commission said.

Specifically, the restrictions apply on the use of the pesticides in seed treatment, soil application, and foliar treatment on plants and cereals - with the exception of winter cereals. Remaining authorised uses of the pesticides are available only to professionals.

Tonio Borg, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, said that bees were important not only for honey, but also as pollinators.

"About 80% of all pollination is due to the activity of bees - this is natural and free of costs", Borg said.

Under the restrictions adopted by the Commission on Friday, EU member states are now required to withdraw or amend existing authorisations for the pesticides to comply with the restrictions by 30 September.

Member states can allow the use of existing stocks until 30 November at the latest. National authorities are responsible for ensuring that the restrictions are correctly applied, the Commission said.

Swiss chemical industry trade group science industries said that a full or partial ban, or a moratorium on neonicotinoid pesticides would not stop the dying out of bee colonies in Switzerland. The group called for further research.

Switzerland-based agrochemicals major Syngenta has said that neonicotinoids, when used properly, do not damage the health of bee populations.

Switzerland is not an EU member. However, Swiss lawmakers are also considering measures to protect bee health.

Further information about the issue is available on the website of the European Food Safety Authority.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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