European Food Safety Agency confirms that neonicotinoid insecticides still pose a grave threat for bees
The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) recently published its conclusions on the risk of neonicotinoids to bees via applications including spray, stem/soil injection or drip irrigation (seed coatings and granules were excluded).] These are the main uses currently allowed and widely used in agriculture. EFSA clearly judged that neonicotinoids pose high risks for bees, and also noted other risks which could not be excluded. Once again, just as in 2013, EFSA identified a number of industry-data-gaps, which limit EFSA’s ability to complete a full Pesticide Risk Assessment for neonicotinoids and bees.
In 2013, EFSA re-evaluated the Risk Assessment Dossier for neonicotinoids,] concluding that these insecticides pose a high risk to bees. At that time, the Agency identified a list of important industry-data-gaps, in the dossier and, until these are remedied, it is impossible to give a full answer on the legal safety requirements, which should apply to these chemicals in relation to honey bee safety.
The present conclusions partially remedy some of the data gaps identified two years ago, like the toxicity when honey bees are exposed to neonicotinoids over several days or the toxicity of neonicotinoids to honey bee larvae.
However, Syngenta (the producer of thiamethoxam) and Bayer (the producer of imidacloprid and clothianidin) failed to provide of the relevant studies requested by the Commission two years ago; without this information, EFSA cannot complete a on neonicotinoids in relation to honey bees.
Francesco Panella, president of Bee Life said: “Everybody knows that neonicotinoids pose a grave danger to bees and pollinators and thereby threaten the very sustainability of our farming system. We knew this in 2013, just as we knew it many years earlier. Yet again, in 2015, EFSA has re-confirmed the danger which neonicotinoids pose for bees. The European Commission and Member States and ban of these dangerous bee-poisons.”
EFSA continues to try and fully assess the risks which neonicotinoids pose for bees when these toxins are used as seed coatings or as soil granules.
Bee Life hopes that this time EFSA will overcome all these challenges, in order to complete its vital work on bee and pollinator safety, and to guarantee us a sustainable farming system.
Bee Life European Beekeeping Coordination
Tel: +32 10 47 16 34
Place Croix du Sud, 4 bte L7.07.09
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