EFSA’s Pesticides Unit

Has updated its risk assessments of three neonicotinoids (Mar'18)

Most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides represent a risk to wild bees and honeybees, according to assessments published today by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).

These new conclusions update those published in 2013, after which the European Commission imposed controls on use of the three neonicotinoids – clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam – that are currently subject to restrictions in the EU because of the threat they pose to bees.

For the new assessments, which this time cover wild bees – bumblebees and solitary bees – as well as honeybees, EFSA’s Pesticides Unit carried out an extensive data collection exercise, including a systematic literature review, to gather all the scientific evidence published since the previous evaluations.

In New Zealand honey is harvested by and large from hill country and bush, rather than croplands. NZ beekeepers have not been that concerned about neonic pesticides: their interests being unlikely to extend to the fate of bumble- and native bees.
The NZ-EPA in 2103 approved an application for an insecticide that contains bifenthrin and imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid, but in 2014 it refused an application to import Ortus, an insecticide containing thiamethoxam, because of its threat to bees.

As early as 2013 Placemakers and The Warehouse opted to not sell these products to the public. Now Palmers, Oderings and Kings are also under pressure to take neonics off the shelf.


in Australia every major retailer has ALREADY agreed to phase out neonics like Confidor by the end of 2018.

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