Use of some insecticides to be banned across the EU

EU member states have voted in favour of banning the outdoor use of certain insecticides.

A majority of represntatives voted at the Standing Committee for Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCOPAFF) to ban imidacloprid, clothianadin and thiamethoxam, Mairead McGuinness MEP has confirmed.

"Since 2013, there has been a moratorium on the use of three neonics - imidacloprid, clothianadin and thiamethoxam - on flowering plants that are attractive to bees such as maize and oilseed rape," she said.

These neonicotinoids are currently used as seed dressings on winter cereals in Ireland.

"A study published by the European Food Safety Authority said that these neonicotinoids represent a risk to wild pollinators and honey bees. These finding have led to today's vote.

"The Commission asked member states to vote to extend the ban to all outdoor production crops including non-bee attractive crops such as winter cereals, fodder beet and sugar beet.

"This will pose a challenge to cereal growers who depend on treated seed to prevent and control diseases and pests and will require that alternative tools are found for growers."

The Commission will propose legislation to restrict the use of these three insecticides to controlled conditions inside greenhouses.

File photo.

Digital Desk

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