Insecticide ‘unacceptable’ danger to bees


The world’s most widely used insecticide has been officially labelled an “unacceptable” danger to bees feeding on flowering crops.

Bees and other pollinators are critical to one-third of all food but two major studies last year implicated neonicotinoid pesticides in the decline in the insects. Last April, the European Commission demanded a re-examination of the risks posed by the chemicals.

Scientists at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded on Wednesday that it is not acceptable to use three neonicotinoid insecticides on crops attractive to honey bees – including oilseed rape which is widely grown in the UK. They also found huge gaps in safety information and a lack of testing for the impact of the chemicals on other pollinating insects.

Friends of the Earth believe this is  a major turning point in the battle to save our bees.  The charity’s Executive Director, Andy Atkins, said: “The clear link between neonicotinoid pesticides and declining bee health must sting the Government into action. Ministers must urgently remove these dangerous chemicals from sale, overhaul inadequate pesticide safety tests and ensure farmers have access to safe, effective alternatives.”

A spokesman for the  Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “This research will be  examined by the independent Advisory Committee on Pesticides and their advice will be considered by ministers. If it is concluded that restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids are necessary, they will be brought in.”

4 responses to “Insecticide ‘unacceptable’ danger to bees

  1. Fingers crossed the Advisory Committee takes action and restricts (why not bans?) neonicotinoids. And maybe the rest of the world (like Australia) will follow Europe’s lead.

  2. Thanks for visiting and your like to some of our posts. Interesting and important articles you have here. Will absolutely be back. /M&R

  3. I’m sorry, I didn’t catch the name of the chemicals in question? I believe you in Britain are ahead of us here in the US regarding the need to restrict the use of chemicals, and I would be very interested to learn specifically which ones you are referring to.
    Thank you for visiting my blog~ I’m so glad you did and I will look forward to reading yours.

    • They are called neonicotinoid pesticides. I have just written an update you might be interested in, with details of an online petition people can sign.

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