EU will not renew authorisation of ‘bee killer’ substance thiacloprid

The neonicotinoid insecticide, acetamiprid, the use of which is also prohibited in France, will continue to be permitted in Germany for the time being. [Foto: Shutterstock]

Based on a conclusion by the EU’s food safety authority EFSA, the European Commission announced on Tuesday (22 October) that it will not renew the authorisation of the “bee killer” substance thiacloprid. This means that the substance can still be used until April 2020. EURACTIV Germany reports.

The neonicotinoid called thiacloprid is considered to be an endocrine disruptor and is, therefore, proven to be harmful to the hormonal balance of humans and animals.

Because of that, the national authorities of the EU member states were, therefore, already obliged to ensure alternative products were being used, where possible.

In January, EFSA pointed to an “alarming” concentration of the product in groundwater. The authority also complained that, due to lack of data, it had not been able to complete a risk assessment evaluating the effect of thiacloprid on humans and animals, in particular for bees.

France had already banned the use of five neonicotinoids, including thiacloprid, last September. Three active substances (imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam) were also banned in the rest of the EU in December.

The neonicotinoid insecticide, acetamiprid, the use of which is also prohibited in France, will continue to be allowed in Germany for the time being.

Neonicotinoids are among the most widely used pesticides in the world. However, they not only kill aphids, woodworms and other insects but also harm bees and bumblebees, weakening their immune systems and impairing their orientation and reproduction.

EU Commission to crack down on recalcitrant member states over neonicotinoids

The European Commission will trigger a never-before-used option against two member states over the abuse of so-called “emergency authorisations” for neonicotinoids, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis said in a letter sent to NGOs dated 19 February and seen by EURACTIV.

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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