Woolworths in Australia has joined a growing list of companies to stop supplying a controversial pesticide linked to global declines in bee populations.
On Tuesday [Jan. 23] the grocery giant announced it would join Bunnings in pulling Yates Confidor, a class of pesticide which some international studies have found damage the survival of honeybee colonies.
A spokesman for Woolworths said the company would cease selling the product from the end of June.
Neonicotinoids represent about a quarter of the multibillion-dollar international pesticide market but have been repeatedly linked to serious harm in bees in lab-based studies.
But Australian regulators remain unmoved.
In 2013, the Australian government undertook a review of neonicotinoids and the health of honey bees, which found that “the introduction of the neonicotinoids has led to an overall reduction in the risks to the agricultural environment from the application of insecticides”.
This month the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority said that it was “not planning to review the use of neonicotinoids” because Australia’s honey bee populations are not in decline.
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