Pesticides harm bees — EU food safety watchdog confirms 2013 findings | News | DW | 28.02.2018
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Pesticides harm bees — EU food safety watchdog confirms 2013 findings

The EU banned three types of pesticides after a 2013 EU study found evidence they were dangerous to wild bee populations. The latest study has confirmed that finding and sets the stage for the ban to continue.

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EU confirms insecticide danger

Nicotine-like pesticides used in farming harm bee populations, the European Union's food safety watchdog said on Wednesday.

"Most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides represent a risk to wild bees and honeybees," the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said.

Critics have blamed the pesticides for causing a dramatic drop in the global bee population. Bees play a crucial role in pollinating crops, which has led to fears that the bee decline could threaten food supplies.

The EFSA report examined three neonicotinoids manufactured by German and Swiss chemical giants Bayer and Syngenta: clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.

Read more: 'The History of Bees' is Germany's top-selling book of 2017

The results confirmed findings in a 2013 EFSA report that led to a 2014 EU-wide ban. Bayer and Syngenta dismissed the 2013 report as unsound, arguing real-world evidence did not show that pesticides were the sole or primary cause of the drop in the global bee population.

"There is variability in the conclusions, due to factors such as the bee species, the intended use of the pesticide and the route of exposure," said the head of the EFSA chief, Jose Tarazona.

He added: "Some low risks have been identified, but overall the risk to the three types of bees, bumblebees, solitary bees, honeybees, we have assessed is confirmed."

The EFSA will present the report to EU leaders, who are set to decide on whether to maintain the 2014 ban.

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Bees dying off in Romania

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