Controversy over EU approval of insecticide

The European Commission has authorised the use of the broad-sprectrum insecticide cyantraniliprole (Cyazypyr, Benevia, Exirel) for 10 years despite warnings from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that it could pose a "high risk" to honeybees.

Whitefly - image: Eran Finkle (CC BY 2.0)
Whitefly - image: Eran Finkle (CC BY 2.0)

Intended for use against chewing and sucking pests such as whitefly, thrips, aphids, fruit flies and psyllids, the chemical will be approved for use on crops across the EU between 14 September 2016 and 14 September 2026, depending on a number of conditions.

In line with the EU Plant Protection Products Regulation, the Commission has asked member states to monitor effects of cyantraniliprole on bees, bumblebees, aquatic organisms and groundwater quality, which are all areas of concern previously flagged up by EFSA.

The Commission admitted that "mitigation measures" may be necessary if member states find there are negative impacts on bees.

The EU regulatory go-ahead of cyantraniliprole marks the end of a five-year process. In 2011, pesticide firms DuPont and Syngenta submitted an application to the UK government to use the chemical.

The decision was then considered by EFSA, which found that overall the substance was "appropriate for use". But it highlighted a number of concerns in a report drafted between 2014 and 2015.

EFSA warned that the gaps it found in the existing data meant it could not exclude the possibility of a high risk to honeybees if the insecticide was used on fruit crops such as apples and grapes.

The agency also said it could not confirm whether cyantraniliprole residues posed a risk to groundwater quality as there was a lack of scientific data in this area as well.

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) UK director Keith Tyrell said the Commission "are openly anticipating there will be problems yet they're willing to authorise the insecticide anyway".


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

UK production horticulture can become more profitable under one possible Brexit scenario, while other more drastic scenarios will lead to only minor losses in profitability, in contrast to other farming sectors, according to a new report by levy body AHDB with Agra CEAS Consulting.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

One area affected by the uncertainty around Brexit will be the ongoing development of agricultural technology, seen by many as essential to retain Britain's productivity and competitiveness in fresh produce along with other farming sectors.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon