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EU proposes action on bees & pesticides

Today, EU Member States did not reach a qualified majority – either in favour or against – in the Appeal Committee1 which discussed a Commission proposal to restrict the use of 3 neonicotinoid insecticides.

Tonio Borg, Health and Consumer Commissioner, said: “Although a majority of Member States now supports our proposal, the necessary qualified majority was not reached. The decision now lies with the Commission. Since our proposal is based on a number of risks to bee health identified by the European Food Safety Authority, the Commission will go ahead with its text in the coming weeks.” To conclude: “I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion annually to European agriculture, are protected.” Continue reading

EU to ban pesticides that harm bees

The European Union made a key breakthrough on Friday to completely ban pesticides that harm bees and their crop pollination.

The 28 member states got a large majority, representing some three-quarters of its population, backing the ban on the three prevalent neonicotinoid pesticides which will take effect at the end of the year. The decision builds on a limited ban which has been in effect since 2013. Continue reading

Citrus canker regulation dropped; helps with exports

In Southeast Farm Press

The European Union has dropped its requirement that U.S. groves be surveyed for citrus canker, which eases entry of U.S. citrus into the EU market.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative have worked with EU officials over the last 10 years to ensure that the EU’s plant health requirements for citrus are based on scientifically-established risks, according to a joint statement May 3 by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Acting U.S. Trade Representative Stephen Vaughn. Continue reading

Syngenta suspends sale of propiconazole due to EU limits

In Southeast Farm Press

by Bob Kemerait, University of Georgia Extension Pathologist

The fungicide propiconazole, sold under tradenames Tilt, PropiMax and Bumper, has been used to fight leaf spot diseases in peanuts for years. Unfortunately, use of propiconazole and products containing propiconazole, including Tilt/Bravo, Echo-PropiMax, Stratego and Artisan, is in doubt for 2016.

Policymakers within the European Union have decided the methodology used years ago to determine maximum residue limits, or MRL, for propiconazole is inappropriate today, therefore those levels are no longer valid. Continue reading

UK part of international consortium investigating environmental impacts of nanotechnology-based agrochemicals

Two University of Kentucky scientists are part of a newly established international consortium investigating the environmental impacts of nanotechnology-based agrochemicals.

The three-year $1.2 million grant entitled Fate and Effects of Agriculturally Relevant Materials (NanoFARM) was funded by the European Union and the U.S. National Science Foundation through the European Area Research Networks (ERA-NET). Typically this is a program for scientists in E.U. member states, but this year the U.S. participated in the program by providing funding through various agencies, enabling participation of U.S. researchers. Continue reading