Thiacloprid now Effectively Banned in the EU

Chemical is active ingredient in Bayer insecticides

14.01.2020 -

The European Commission has announced it won’t renew its approval for the nicotinoid pesticide (neonic) thiacloprid when the substance’s license expires on Apr. 30, 2020.

This move follows the agreement of a qualified majority of EU governments last October to add the chemical to the three other neonics – clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam –barred from usee outside of greenhouses on crops attractive to bees. The three last have been restricted since 2013.

EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said there were environmental concerns related to the use of thiaclprid, particularly its impact on ground water; there were but also concerns about human health, including reproductive toxicity.

Kyriakides called the decision “yet another clear demonstration of the Commission's commitment to protect the health of EU citizens and our environment, with evidence of this priority being the farm to fork strategy within the European Green Deal.”

The EU governing body based its assessment of thiachloprid on conclusions of an evaluation by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA). The agency reviewed 1,500 studies on bee health that it said raised concerns not only about harm to foraging bees as well as to humans.

Last autumn, EFSA held a public consultation related to an assessment of chronic effects on the thyroid system as well as acute effects on the nervous system. Both were the culmination of a multi-year collaboration between EFSA and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment for the Netherlands (RIVM).

With the Commission’s action, Bayer’s Calypso and Biscaya insecticides will be effectively banned throughout EU. The Leverkusen-based group, world’s largest agrochemicals player since its takeover of Monsanto, as well as Swiss agrochemicals giant Syngenta, now owned by ChemChina, had pushed for a continued exemption.

France has already outlawed the four insecticide ingredients in all applications including greenhouses. The country has consistently been at the forefront of legislation to restrict chemical crop protectants such as glyphosate as well as ban the phosgene-based bisphenol A used to manufacture engineering plastics such as polycarbonate as well as epoxy resins.

Within the EU, the UK has been slow to move against agricultural chemicals and in some cases has applied for exemption of its farmers from the restrictions. The country will presumably be outside the community when the new restrictions take effect.