How conflicts of interest, NGO activism undermine European bee health oversight

January 24, 2017


The European Union’s ban of three neonicotinoid insecticides (aimed at saving honeybees) was developed as a logical consequence of the European Food Safety Authority’s draft bee guidance document. This document, which introduced new guidelines for what could be considered as acceptable bee research field trial, set standards that, in my opinion, were so high that none of the existing bee field research could be accepted into the risk assessment process nor would any future trials ever meet the standards. In an exchange between myself and EFSA, it appears to me that the EU Authority was deceived into accepting the 2013 document under the following assumptions:

  • That there were no conflicts of interest by any of the members of the EFSA Working Group on Bee Risk Assessment.
  • That the report was produced internally by EFSA staff.
  • That the report will someday be accepted by the European Council as a legitimate document.


Story of the draft bee guidance document

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