Pesticides and bees: call for data

EFSA is asking national authorities, research institutions, industry and other interested parties to submit new information relevant to the evaluation of the risks posed to bees by three neonicotinoid pesticides applied as seed treatments and granules.

The call for data complies with the decision taken by the European Commission in May 2013 to put in place measures to restrict the use of clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid. For example, their use as a seed or soil treatment and for pre-flowering applications was prohibited on crops attractive to bees and for cereals other than winter cereals. 

The Commission said at the time that within two years it would initiate a review of any new scientific information. The call for data is the first step in this process. 

Interested parties are urged to submit information on the effects, exposure and risks of the three substances as regards bees – honeybees, bumble bees and solitary bees – when used as seed treatments and granules. This can include:

  • literature data, including grey literature and data from other relevant research activities; 
  • study reports, such as acute laboratory studies, chronic toxicity studies, residues data, and field studies;
  • national evaluations and/or monitoring data.

All information should be submitted by 30 September 2015. Following receipt of a separate mandate from the European Commission, EFSA will then review the material and offer conclusions concerning an updated risk assessment.

EFSA is also currently assessing the risks to bees from foliar uses of clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid. The Authority will finalise its conclusions by the end of July.

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