On April 27th, 2018, European Union Member States’ representatives in a Standing Committee have backed a proposal by the European Commission to further restrict the use of three active substances (imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, known as “neonicotinoids”) for which a scientific review concluded that their outdoor use harms bees.
The protection of bees is an important issue for the Commission since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment. On the initiative of President Juncker, for whom this is a priority, the European Union’s College of Commissioners discussed this on March 29th, 2017. The restrictions agreed on April 27th go beyond the measures already in place since 2013.
All outdoor use of the three substances will be banned and the neonicotinoids in question will only be allowed in permanent greenhouses where no contact with bees is expected. Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis welcomed this vote, stressing that “the Commission had proposed these measures months ago, on the basis of the scientific advice from the European Food Safety Authority. Bee health remains of paramount importance for me since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment.”
The Regulation will now be adopted by the European Commission in the coming weeks and become applicable by the end of the year. More information can be found here.