EU Court of Justice upholds ban on neonicotinoid insecticides, dismissing cases by Bayer and Syngenta

Seed treating x
Neonicotinoid seed treatment. Credit: Crop Production Magazine

A top European Union court upheld on Thursday (17 May) the ban on three insecticides blamed for killing off bee populations, dismissing cases brought by chemicals giants Bayer and Syngenta.

“The General Court confirms the validity of the restrictions introduced at  EU level in 2013 against the insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid because of the risks those substances pose to bees,” a court statement said.

“Given the existence of new studies (…) the Commission was fully entitled to find that it was appropriate to review the approval of the substances in question,” it specified.


The crop industry said they respect the verdict of the court.

“We respect the verdict of the Court in all cases, even if we find it particularly unfortunate that in 2 of the 3 cases the Court decided to dismiss. There may be a cognitive ease to blaming pesticides for affecting bee health, but experts, including the Commission itself, have acknowledged that it can be influenced by multiple and complex factors,” Graeme Taylor from the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) told Euractiv.

Related article:  Myth busting: Pesticide use in organic and conventional agriculture

“We will continue our efforts as an industry to strengthen biodiversity and ensure honey bees and other pollinators can continue to play a vital role in agriculture,” he said.

Read full, original post: EU court upholds curbs on bee-killing pesticide

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