EU bans neonic on bee concerns

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) — The European Commission decided Jan. 13 not to renew approval for a pesticide linked to harming bees, effectively banning Bayer’s insecticide known as thiacloprid.

The decision follows approval by a majority of European Union governments last October, based on a proposal from the commission, the bloc’s executive.

“There are environmental concerns related to the use of this pesticide, particularly its impact on groundwater, but also related to human health, in reproductive toxicity,” Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said.

Farmers will not be allowed to use the neonicotinoid, sold under brands Calypso and Biscaya, after April 30, when its current approval expires.

The commission based its assessment on findings of the European Food Safety Agency published last January. It highlighted concerns about the active substance being toxic for humans and present in too great a concentration in groundwater, an EFSA spokesperson said.

The pesticide not only kills insects but also harms bees and bumblebees, weakening their immune systems and impairing their reproduction, the findings said.

The EU prohibited the use of three neonicotinoids except in greenhouses in April 2018. France has already outlawed all four insecticides and one other, including in greenhouses.

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