European Commission to restrict certain insecticides

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European Commission to restrict certain insecticides

The European Commission plans to ban three neonicotinoid insecticides from Dec. 1 in response to a study that showed negative impacts on bee populations.

Tonio Borg. Photo: European Parliament

Tonio Borg. Photo: European Parliament

European Union member states voted on the issue in the Appeal Committee yesterday, with 15 countries in favor, eight against and four abstaining from the vote.

"Although a majority of Member States now supports our proposal, the necessary qualified majority was not reached. The decision now lies with the Commission," Health and Consumer Commissioner Tonio Borg said in a release.

"Since our proposal is based on a number of risks to bee health identified by the European Food Safety Authority, the Commission will go ahead with its text in the coming weeks.

"I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion annually to European agriculture, are protected."

The ban will apply to the insecticides clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam for seed treatment, soil application and foliar treatment on bee attractive plants and cereals.

The commission said exceptions would be limited to the possibility to treat bee-attractive crops in greenhouses, in open-air fields only after flowering.

The commission has vowed it will take relevant scientific and technical developments into account to review conditions of approval for these insecticides within two years.

Related stories: European Union considers two-year ban on neonicotinoids

U.K.: Environmental Audit calls for neonicotinoid ban



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