EU Admits: Neonics Not Main Threat to Bee Health

April 30, 2014

Editor’s Note: Under American regulatory policy formalized in President Obama’s Executive Order on regulatory review, regulators adopt a regulation only after “a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs,” not simply because they can.  The EU’s pollinator protection policy is now openly ignoring the leading role in bee health decline of varroa destructor.

From: Food Chemical News

European Commission defends action on neonicotinoids

The European Union’s recent suspension of certain uses of neonicotinoid insecticides was not imposed because they are the main threat to bee health, but because they were the only factor that could be quickly regulated by the European Commission, said Michael Flüh, head of the chemicals unit in the EU Health and Consumers Directorate General (DG SANCO). Pesticides are just one of several factors that are impacting bees, Agrow reports. Others such as changing climate, biodiversity, food availability, pests and diseases cannot be tackled through a basic legal act, he said.

“There are few dossiers that are more difficult for DG SANCO,” and the issue is now in the hands of the courts, said Flüh, speaking at a Commission conference on bee health. Last year, the Commission imposed a two-year suspension on certain uses of clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and fipronil, following an analysis of their impact on bee health by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). This was swiftly followed by lawsuits from Bayer CropScience, Syngenta and BASF 0), all arguing that such action was not scientifically justified.

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