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

Webinar: Mitigating Potential Impacts of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Wetland Ecosystems

What will you learn?

Participants will learn about opportunities to mitigate for potential risks of neonicotinoid insecticides to aquatic systems. Learn more…

Presented by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service – Science and Technology Continue reading

Ortho to drop the use of neonics in its products

From National Public Radio

A leading brand of home and garden pest-control products says it will stop using a class of pesticides linked to the decline of bees.

Ortho, part of the Miracle-Gro family, says the decision to drop the use of the chemicals — called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short — comes after considering the range of possible threats to bees and other pollinators. Continue reading

EPA and Dow AgroSciences will work together on sulfoxaflor registration

Dow AgroSciences says it expects the Environmental Protection Agency will “readily and thoroughly” address the concerns that have led to a cancellation notice for Transform and other Sulfoxaflor-containing products extensively used by cotton and grain sorghum producers.

The cancellation notice came in response to a Sept. 10 Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling vacating product registrations for sulfoxaflor. The court cited studies on the effect of sulfoxaflor on pollinators that were not completed before registrations were issued by EPA.

“As a result of the extensive data currently available on sulfoxaflor, Dow AgroSciences expects the pollinator protection concerns expressed in a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to be readily and thoroughly addressed by EPA through further review of scientific data,” the company said in a press release. Continue reading

Results from new bee studies show mixed results

Yesterday afternoon on All Things Considered on NPR, reporter Allison Aubrey did a report on a new study done by two new studies published in the journal Nature that conclude that some seed pesticides such as neonicotinoids may sometimes be the food of choice for wild bees and bumblebees.

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EPA Announces It Is Unlikely to Approve New Outdoor Neonicotinoid Pesticide Uses

As part of EPA’s ongoing effort to protect pollinators, the Agency has sent letters to registrants of neonicotinoid pesticides with outdoor uses informing them that EPA will likely not be in a position to approve most applications for new uses of these chemicals until new bee data have been submitted and pollinator risk assessments are complete. The letters reiterate that the EPA has required new bee safety studies for its ongoing registration review process for the neonicotinoid pesticides, and that the Agency must complete its new pollinator risk assessments, which are based, in part, on the new data, before it will likely be able to make regulatory decisions on imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran that would expand the current uses of these pesticides. Affected neonicotinoid actions include:

  • New Uses (including crop group expansion requests)
  • Addition of New  Use Patterns, such as aerial application
  • Experimental Use Permits
  • New Special Local Needs Registrations

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Neonicotinoid-resistant thrips showing up in North Carolina

In Southeast Farm Press

North Carolina now has neonicotinoid-resistant thrips; not a good thing for cotton producers in the state, said Dominic Reisig, North Carolina State University Extension entomologist.

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Land-grant university scientists looking into neonicotinoid effects on pollinators

In Delta Farm Press

Neonicotinoid seed treatments are clearly in the crosshairs of environmental activists as the debate over bee health issues continues unabated. Rather than resorting to unsubstantiated claims and rhetoric, however, researchers and Extension entomologists in the Mid-South are conducting exhaustive studies about the impact of the insecticides on pollinators. The University of Tennessee’s Scott Stewart reported on those efforts at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in San Antonio.

Go to the story to see the video.


Comment period on EPA neonicotinoid decision ends December 22

The EPA is taking comments on the effectiveness of neonicotinoids in soybeans until December 22. To go directly to the comment page, click here. To read more about the issue, read this article from Farm Futures.

Pollinators take center stage on Capitol Hill

Pollinator health is a hot topic on Capitol Hill. “Saving America’s Pollinators Act of 2013” would require EPA restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides on bee-attractive plants. A House Agriculture subcommittee is reviewing the bill now. Also in the House subcommittee, bill  H.R. 5447 pushes for expedited approval of pesticides “for the management of parasitic pests that adversely impact the health of managed pollinator bees, and for other purposes.” The Natural Resources Defense Council sees the bill as unnecessary, and recommends expedited review for only those products meeting current reduced-risk criteria set by EPA.

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