Pesticide Warning Labels for Bee Protection Introduced in U.S.

19.08.2013 -

In reaction to criticism of what environmentalists see as a too timid approach to protecting honeybee populations from the phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, has announced plans to devise warning labels for pesticides containing neonicotinoids.

Packaging of pesticides containing imacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianid and thiamethoxam in future will have to carry a bee advisory box and icons with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions, the EPA said.

The agency added that it is working with manufacturers of the crop protection agents to change the labels to meet the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide (FIFRA) safety standard as well as with beekeepers as well as other players in the agriculture sector to reduce pesticide drift dust and promote best management practices.

While pointing to its new enforcement guidelines released to federal, state and tribal officials to step up their investigation of beekill incidents, the EPA at the same time reiterated its stance that neonicotinoids may not be the only danger to bee populations. "Multiple factors play a role in bee colony declines, including pesticides," said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.