Hardware chain Bunnings Warehouse pulls neonicotinoid insecticides over bee health concerns

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A controversial pesticide allegedly linked to bee deaths will be pulled from [Australian, New Zealand, and UK hardware store chain] Bunnings’ shelves by the end of this year, a spokesman has confirmed.

The canned product Yates Confidor is a class of pesticide which some studies suggest affects bees’ navigation and immune systems, resulting in colony death.

Bunnings made the decision in November last year to remove the product from its UK and Australian stores amid declining British bee populations, however, admitted their decision was based on precautions rather than scientific evidence.

“There’s a lot of conflicting science out there,” a spokeswoman said, “we decided to err on the side of caution.”

The company received several calls from concerned customers requesting the product be removed, but have not released a statement on its decision.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Europe has traded crop biotechnology for 'faith-based' agroecology

Yates Confidor is a neonicotinoid, a class of pesticides which is absorbed by the plant rather than coating its surface. The chemicals spread to all parts of the plants, and are exposed to bees through pollen.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientists identified a number of risks to bees from neonicotinoids in 2013, however were unable to finalise risk assessment due to a data gaps.

A spokesman for the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) said neonicotinoids registered for use in Australia are safe and effective.

Read full, original post: Bunnings to pull pesticide allegedly linked to bee deaths

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