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EU bans neonicotinoid insecticides over concern for bees

On 27th April EU member states voted in favour of an almost complete ban on the use of three neonicotinoids (Imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam). It was concluded that no safe outdoor use of these substances could be shown and so use would be restricted to indoor (glasshouse) applications only to limit any exposure to bees. This decision has capped several years of debate on the risk of bees from the use of neonicotinoids and expands on the initial partial ban imposed in 2013 to limit their use on flowering crops.

Neonicotinoids are the most widely used class of insecticides globally and have been a key pest control tool for farmers. There are concerns that this ban will impact the effectiveness of crop protection as farmers become more reliant on other types of potentially more toxic pesticides, allowing pests to develop resistance to them and also having unwanted side-effects on non-target organisms including bees.

At ERM we are actively involved in a range of bee risk assessment projects and the ICPPR Bee Protection Group. We aim to keep informed of any developments to bee risk and are well placed to provide consultation and advice to companies with concerns for bee health.

For advice on plant protection products, biocides or general chemicals, or any other regulatory issues, please contact us on +44 (0)1423 520245, enquiries-harrogate@erm.com

Published 3rd May 2018
Categories Agrochemicals, News
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