European Commission plans full neonicotinoid ban

The European Commission is proposing a full ban on pesticide substances suspected of having a negative impact on bee colonies in the EU.

Amendments to European Commission regulation 540/2011 could see a blanket ban on neonicotinoids, which the European Food Safety Authority have linked to bee health.

EU member countries must still vote on the Commission’s proposal.

Three neonicotinoid pesticides produced by Bayer and Syngenta - Clothianidin, Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam — are already partially restricted since 2013 in the European Union pending further scientific study.

The documents cite "high acute risks to bees". A ban could be in place this year if the proposals are approved by a majority of EU member states.

Sarah Mukherjee, chief executive of the Crop Protection Association, said: "We are disappointed with this proposal, which seems more of a political judgement than sound science.

She added: "The proposal is based on an assessment using the unapproved Bee Guidance document and perfectly illustrates the consequences of using this guidance. Most crop protection products, including those used in organic agriculture, would not pass the criteria."

Environmental groups backed the proposal.

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